Local public health units are an integral part of Ontario’s health care system, and need to be given the resources they need to do their job, says Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.
“The leadership of our medical officers of health and the programs provided by our boards of health and public health units demonstrate a focus on health, not just health care,” Mr. Arnott said in a statement in the Ontario Legislature on March 2. “This is essential, because Ontario needs a wellness agenda which promotes illness prevention and keeping people healthy, not just caring for the sick.”
Mr. Arnott has heard a number of concerns expressed by local public health officials about the impact the Government’s policies are having on our public health services.
“The Ministry of Health has frozen funding for cost-shared mandatory public health program, as well as fully funded programs,” pointed out Mr. Arnott. “Health units are being forced to do more with less and reduce staffing.”
Mr. Arnott also took the opportunity to highlight the feedback he has heard from the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Board of Health as well as Region of Halton Chair Gary Carr, Regional Councillors and staff on the Government’s “Patients First” discussion paper.
“The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Board Chair Doug Auld, has written an excellent letter to the Minister with constructive feedback on the discussion paper, raising the need for cooperation, collaboration, recognition of local communities’ unique needs, accountability, appropriate alignment of LHIN boundaries, and dedicated funding,” Mr. Arnott said.
“I’ve also heard similar concerns from the Region of Halton,” he continued. “In particular, they’ve emphasized the need for appropriate alignment of LHIN boundaries and consolidating the entire Region into one LHIN area. They also stress the importance of ensuring there is sufficient funding from the province to enable them to continue to provide the public health services that our residents need.”