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Coming change concerns local health board

Hastings Prince Edward public health board officials are seeking political opinions on what they call unfair changes in provincial funding for health units.

They met last week Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith and MPP Lou Rinaldi in December.

Medical officer of health Dr. Richard Schabas said the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has implemented a new funding formula for public health agencies, whereby 28 of the 36 Ontario agencies, including HPEPH, have had their base funding red-circled with no increase in funding for most programs.

“This funding model is expected to continue for at least six more years,” said Schabas. “The Board of Health is meeting with area members of provincial parliament to discuss concerns about the impact that this formula will have on service provision.”

It was announced in October as part of Ontario’s “Patients First” plan and Schabas told the board then the dollars were being shifted from those who need funding most to those needing it the least.It amounts to a funding reduction of 1.5 per cent annually.

The board approved about $140,000 worth of savings moving the County’s unit into shared space in the family health team building.

MPP Smith and Mayor Robert Quaiff have been making repeated efforts to get Health Minister Eric Hoskins to visit the County to discuss health care concerns here.

LHINs Involvement in Public Health
Since its last monthly meeting, the board of health has also received several communications from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding a change in funding for Public Health services in Ontario. The Ministry has determined that the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) will have an active role in planning and delivery of public health services from a monetary perspective effective April, 2017. The Board of Health will invite the LHIN chair and members to a meeting in the next couple of months to discussthe change.

Union contract settlements
The health board was informed that three-year contracts have been signed with the organization’s two unions: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA). The new contracts include salary increases of 1.75 per cent in the first year (2015), 1.25 per cent in the second year (2016) and 1.0 per cent in the third year (2017).

Schabas to retire
Dr. Richard Schabas told the board he plans to retire at the end of this year.
He was Ontario’s chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997; chief of staff at a Toronto area hospital and came to Prince Edward Public Health in 2005.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Kawartha Dave says:

    Unfortunately, our Public Health Boards in Ontario have become huge wasters of money as they build and expand their empires into areas where they have no business going. Funding for these boards should not just be frozen, but reduced drastically. This would force them to return to the core programs they were entrusted with years ago. Over the last decade their waste has grown in leaps and bounds. Time to pull in the purse strings.

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