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  • Writer's pictureWest Island News

Quebec Budgets $4.9 Billion for health and social services

The Québec Budget Plan for March 2024 was presented by the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard. The government has committed to meeting the priorities of Quebecers and providing them with quality public services, especially in the areas of health and education.

Over the next five years, investments totaling more than $8.8 billion are planned, with $4.9 billion going towards funding health and social services, education, and higher education. The government is also taking steps to optimize its action, which will generate additional revenue of $2.9 billion over the next five years. Nearly $3.7 billion of the investment will support healthcare and social services, including improving access to care and services, maintaining the quality of care and services for seniors, and consolidating social services for youth and vulnerable individuals.

The government's objectives include accelerating the digital shift in the healthcare system, developing alternatives to hospitalization, enhancing home-support services, and bolstering mental health services. The government is investing an additional $819 million over six years to foster the educational success of young people. This investment will support student success, attract and retain school staff, support partner organizations in education, and accelerate the maintenance of the school building inventory.

The government is also providing close to $421 million over five years to promote the success and retention of university students, support training in priority fields and digital transformation, increase the number of student housing units, and maintain the building inventory. Real GDP growth is expected to remain modest in 2024 before accelerating in 2025, and the government is maintaining its objective of reducing the gap in real GDP per capita with Ontario.

The government is banking on a gradual approach to restoring fiscal balance, and will table a plan to restore this balance by 2029-2030 at the latest when the next budget is released. The financial framework remains prudent and responsible, providing the funding needed to deliver services in the government's main missions and a contingency reserve of $7.5 billion over five years that could be used to offset the effects of more moderate economic growth than anticipated.



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