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Ontario to increase base funding for public health agencies

Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones said Tuesday that the province will increase base funding for public health units by one per cent a year over the next three years, also adding that Ontario will also return to sharing 75 per cent of the share of public health costs with municipalities.

Ontario will restore $47 million in provincial annual base funding for public health units from January 1, 2024, that will return the province to taking up 75 per cent of the share of public health costs, reversing a cut in health spending the government introduced in 2019 that moved the ratio for public health cost-sharing formula with municipalities from 75-25 to 70-30.

Speaking at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in London, Jones also said the province will offer a one-time funding to public health units that agree to merge voluntarily, an idea proposed by the government in 2019 to consolidate the province’s public health units that was later put on hold in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Public health agencies that voluntarily merge to streamline would receive funding and resources, as a way for the province to reduce overlap of services and reinvest back into expanding programs and services.

“Building a stronger public health system, with more convenient and consistent access to public health services, is one more way our government is connecting people in Ontario to health care closer to home,” Jones said.

Ontario will also invest an additional $51 million into the Dedicated Offload Nurses Program over the next three years – a programme to minimise the time between paramedics dropping patients at hospitals and returning back into the community.

Rahat Sandhu
Canada HealthCanada HealthcareCanadian HealthcareSylvia Jones