Government of Canada Improves Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services
From: Health Canada
November 15, 2023
Everyone, regardless of their sexual or gender identity, has the right to be their authentic self, which includes having access to the care that they need to lead a happy and healthy life. This is especially true for members of underserved communities including 2SLGBTQI+, Indigenous and racialized communities, newcomers, women, and youth, as the barriers they face are compounded by past experiences of discrimination in Canada’s health care system, as well as a lack of culturally safe, relevant, equitable, and stigma-free health services.
Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced more than $700,000 in funding from the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Fund to support projects led by the Sexual Health Nova Scotia Society and the Association of New Canadians to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services for these communities across Atlantic Canada.
These projects will help improve access to vital SRH services and reduce barriers to care for underserved communities in Atlantic Canada by developing resources that build health care providers’ capacity to deliver these services. These projects are funded through Health Canada’s SRH Fund, which was established through Budget 2021 with an initial investment of $45 million to improve access to SRH care for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access, with an additional commitment of $36 million through Budget 2023.
This announcement reflects the Government of Canada’s belief that everyone has the right to access safe and relevant SRH services.
“The Government of Canada believes that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should have access to sexual and reproductive health services and resources that are safe and stigma-free. As many individuals continue to face barriers and stigma when trying to access these services, organizations like the Sexual Health Nova Scotia Society and the Association of New Canadians are doing important work to improve access to these services.”
The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health
“The SUGAR Health Registry and Warmline project is Sexual Health Nova Scotia’s response to the calls we’ve heard over time from our community who are struggling to find the sexual, gender and reproductive (SGR) health care they need. SGR health services are an essential part of how a person takes care of their health and wellbeing, and this project aims to support all Nova Scotians in accessing this care, with a specific focus on those who are underserved or face multiple barriers within mainstream health systems.”
Executive Director, Sexual Health Nova Scotia Society
“Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Education and Care is vital to a person’s overall health and well-being and we are delighted to have received support from Health Canada to deliver this important project. As part of this initiative, the Association of New Canadians will develop training resources for health care providers and distribute SRH information to meets the needs of newcomers living throughout the province. Ultimately, the project aims to empower newcomers by facilitating knowledge mobilization.”
Executive Director, Association of New Canadians
- Budget 2021 committed $45 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to improve access to SRH care support, information, and services for people in Canada who face the greatest barriers to access.
- Budget 2023 provides a further $36 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Health Canada to renew the SRH Fund.
- To date, twenty-three projects have been funded. Of these projects, four address access to abortion, seven address the SRH needs of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, and four focus on Indigenous communities, including Indigenous youth and Two Spirit people. Two projects focus on racialized people or newcomers, two more address youth from a range of populations, and four more address additional priorities. In addition, funding has been allocated to the province of Québec to support community-based organizations located in Québec.
- The SRH Fund was created to support a wide range of evidence-informed and innovative projects for people in Canada who are at increased risk for poorer sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, Indigenous and racialized people, women, and youth.
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health