There’s good news and not so good news when it comes to the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health 2018 budget.
The province has given the public health unit a 2% budget increase, the first increase in four years. It translates to an extra $163,000 on a 2018 budget of $8.15 million.
But there is also the probable addition of two new programs, involving more staff time. CEO Val Dunham tells Quinte News this will take a great deal of planning to make it all happen.
Acting Medical Officer of Heath Dr. Ian Gemmell.
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He says these will involve a great deal of staff time.
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Gemmell says the difficulty is that “the local health unit is not yet in full compliance with Ontario Public Health standards and now there will be an expectation to do more.”
He says, “One percent of the Ontario public health budget was assigned to certain boards of health in the past, to boards the ministry identified as having increased needs because of high growth etc. Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, London and Windsor had gotten the 1% but I don’t expect our area will get that. Fortunately the 2% increase this year makes things easier but isn’t an answer to do all we have to do so we may have to look at how to readjust programs to accommodate this, even with 2%.”