Halton Region seeks meeting with Minister of Health to discuss future of public health

Halton Region seeks meeting with Minister of Health to discuss future of public health

Release Date: Oct 23, 2017

The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care has released a report from the Minister's Expert Panel on Public Health: "Public Health within an Integrated Health System" which proposes extensive changes to the delivery and governance of public health.

At their meeting on October 11th, 2017, Regional Council expressed significant concerns about recommendations in the Expert Panel report and the impact on the community. Regional Council also expressed frustration that the recommendations did not address long-standing concerns that have been raised by Halton Region, related to chronic underfunding of public health and the current boundary of the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) in Halton.

Halton Region currently delivers a wide variety of public health programs and is a leader in ensuring the integration of service delivery within the community. This is essential to addressing the social determinants of health, improving well-being in the community and supporting complete communities. The Expert Panel report recommends a new governance model for public health that replicates the LHIN structure and disconnects public health from social and community services. This model creates significant concerns.

“If implemented, the Expert Panel’s recommendations will not address the Region’s long-standing concerns related to the realignment of the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) boundaries and the significant provincial $9.7 million annual funding shortfall for health programs,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

As part of the Advocating for a Strong Halton campaign, Halton Region has been advocating for adequate funding formulas that appropriately reflect growth, as well as other important public health program and structure changes.

“The Expert Panel’s report provides no evidence that health outcomes or community well-being will be enhanced if the recommendations are implemented,” said Chair Carr. “I am requesting a meeting with the Minister to discuss the implications of the Expert Panel’s report and recommendations on our community.”

Residents can watch the discussion that took place on this issue at the Health and Social Services Committee, as well as the Regional Council meeting. For more information on the Advocating for a Strong Halton campaign, visit halton.ca/advocacy.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.

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Media Contact:
Stacey Hunter
Communications Specialist
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7529
stacey.hunter@halton.ca