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Friday, May 3, 2019

Possible Health Unit Mergers

Grey Bruce | by John Divinski  

Proposed legislation floating around could see Ontario's 35 public health units reduced to 10 regional ones

There is proposed provincial legislation floating around that could see Ontario's 35 public health units reduced to 10 regional ones.

Brockton Mayor and Bruce County councillor Chris Peabody, who is also a Grey Bruce Health Unit board member, didn't mince words when talking of the proposed mergers, which were in the recent Ontario budget.

He says, "Of all the changes the provincial government is proposing, the Health Unit (merger) is the most drastic.  It will result in some major job layoffs at the Grey Bruce Health Unit."

Peabody further stated, "All of the support staff at Grey Bruce Health Unit 'COULD' lose their jobs," should the proposed legislation become law.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra tells county councillors any merging of health units could be drastic for the Owen Sound facility.

He says there's not a lot of information on the process yet, but "it seems to be significant and large."

Bruce County Warden Mitch Twolan says it's too early for any knee-jerk reaction.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit board of directors met on the issue last week and Chris Peabody called it a "very difficult meeting" when the issue was presented by the Medical Officer of Health.

The province is also changing its funding formula for programs provided by the health unit and it could see Bruce County taxpayers on the hook for another $568,000 per year.

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