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HomeHealth and LifestyleMove to reduce number of Health Units has local officials concerned

Move to reduce number of Health Units has local officials concerned

KAWARTHA LAKES-Local health officials are sounding the alarm after the Ontario government recently announced it would drastically reduce the number of Health Units across the province.

“We are concerned what this proposal could mean for important public health programs and services for residents in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton County and Northumberland County that help prevent illness, protect against disease and promote health.” Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lynn Noseworthy told Kawartha 411 News.

In last weeks budget, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said they would reduce the 35 health units into 10 new “entities.”

“The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is aware of the Province’s announcement about public health units, including its plans to merge units and cut funding by $200 million per year. We are working closely with other health units and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) to get more details from the Province about this announcement and clarify what its potential impact will be.” Noseworthy stated.

The Association of Local Public Health Agencies says they have spent considerable time since the election of the new Government communicating what they see as the importance of Ontario’s locally-based public health system to ending hallway medicine.

“The reality is that this $200M savings is a 26% reduction in the already-lean annual provincial investment in local public health. This will greatly reduce our ability to deliver the front-line local public health services that keep people out of hospitals and doctors’ offices.”  said alPHa President Dr. Robert Kyle.

And they are asking to government to carefully consider this proposal before moving forward.

“The proposed one-year time frame for this change is extremely ambitious, and we hope that the government will acknowledge the need to carefully examine the complexities of what it is proposing and move forward with care and consideration,” said Dr. Kyle.

Local Health Units work to prevent illness, protect against disease and promote healthy lifestyles. They monitor infectious disease outbreaks, inspect food and personal care outlets, test our water sources and much more.

The local Board of Health – which oversees the work of the HKPR District Health Unit — meets this Thursday (April 16) in Port Hope for its regular monthly meeting. The Province’s announcement will be on the agenda for discussion.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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