is yet unclear what the implications of the provincial government’s
consolidation of health units in Ontario might mean for the Kawartha
Haliburton Pine Ridge District Health Unit.
part of the Ford government’s 2019 budget, it was revealed that the
province intends to consolidate 35 public health units in Ontario into
10 regional agencies, a move the government says is expected to save
approximately $200 million by 2022.
an April 24 county council meeting, councillors received correspondence
from the Association of Ontario Public Health Agencies.
previous recent budgets, the 2019 Ontario budget contains a section
devoted specifically to modernizing Ontario’s public health units, so
the traditional chapter-by-chapter summary of other items of interest to
[our] members will be delayed as our immediate focus will need to be on
the significant changes that are being proposed for Ontario’s public
health system,” the correspondence from association executive director
Loretta Ryan reads. “It appears that the government intends to create
efficiencies through streamlining back-office functions, adjusting
provincial-municipal cost-sharing, and reducing the total number of
health units and boards of health from 35 to 10 in a new regional model.
As details about how they will do this are scarce, verbatim excerpts
from the two areas that are directly relevant are reproduced here.”
correspondence goes on to quote from the provincial budget document:
“Ontario currently has 35 public health units across the province
delivering programs and services, including monitoring and population
health assessments, emergency management and the prevention of injuries.
Funding for public health is shared between the province and the
However, the current structure of Ontario’s public
health units does not allow for consistent service delivery, could be
better coordinated with the broader system and better aligned with
current government priorities. This is why Ontario’s Government for the
People is modernizing the way public health units are organized,
allowing for a focus on Ontario’s residents, broader municipal
engagement, more effective service delivery, better alignment with the
heath care system and more effective staff recruitment and retention to
improve public health promotion and prevention.”
et al Mayor Andrea Roberts, who sits on the local health unit board,
told her county council colleagues she’d let them know when she had
information to share.
“We just don’t know,” Roberts said. “We don’t know what that means, and how it’s going to affect the county.”