Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot for her question and the interest she takes in these issues that are very important not just to her, but to the vast majority of Canadians, if not all Canadians, who care about and take great pride in their public and universal health care system.
Health care spending increases every year in Canada. In 2016, the cost of health care totalled $228 billion, or 11% of our GDP, our gross domestic product.
The provinces and territories were provided with increased funding for health care through the Canada health transfer. For 2017-18, the government has provided $36.1 billion to the provinces and territories through the Canada health transfer. This funding will continue to increase year over year according to the GDP growth rate, with a minimum increase of 3% per year. This exceeds the average annual increase in provincial funding for health care in recent years and is greater than the rate of inflation. In the next five years, this will amount to approximately $200 billion in support for health care.
In reality, the system has a hard time keeping up with the needs of today's families. There is a growing demand for prescription drugs, home care, and mental health care services, among other things.
That is not surprising. As the member mentioned, the population is aging. People are living longer. Chronic diseases are on the rise, and technological advances have an impact on our way of treating and caring for patients.
Through these changing realities, our system remains trapped in its original design of more than half a century ago, with a focus on high-priced institutional and specialist care. Given today's pressures, it makes more sense to shift health care delivery away from institutions into the homes of Canadians in their communities. This is why our government has shown leadership and a real commitment to engaging in a discussion with provinces and territories about how to improve health care in Canada.
In keeping with its mandate commitment to a new health accord, last December our government proposed to invest another $11.5 billion over 10 years to support targeted actions in home care, mental health, health innovation, and pharmaceuticals. These are the four areas federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to in January 2016 as the priorities for investment. Budget 2017 confirmed this federal offer, which includes $11 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve home care and mental health services as well as $544 million over five years to federal and pan-Canadian health organizations to support health innovation and pharmaceutical initiatives. This investment, targeting improvements in home care and mental health, is unprecedented and will make a real difference in the lives of Canadians.
Providing funding to the provinces and territories based on their share of the Canadian population is an approach that allows the government to provide similar levels of support to all Canadians. Ultimately, we want to ensure that all Canadians have comparable access to improved home care and mental health care services. That is a fundamental principle that guides the actions of our government.
I will close by saying that the $11.5 billion in funding over 10 years for mental health and home care services has been generally well received and will make it possible to offer Canadians quality mental health care and home care services.
With regard to respect for jurisdictions, I just want to say one thing, and that is, in the case of Quebec, where I know the member is from, we also followed the principle of asymmetrical federalism, which recognizes Quebec's jurisdiction and its distinctiveness.