Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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All news inquiries can be directed to a central email [email protected]

The central phone line is 705-721-7520 ext. 8533

Board of Health Notes February 19, 2020

Mar 10, 2020
Board meeting notes from February 19, 2020: Board approves 2020 budget; Infectious disease program under stress

Board approves 2020 budget

The Board of Health approved a cost-shared budget of $35,330,178 for 2020 at its February meeting. This year’s budget reflects a municipal levy of $8,983,456. The board also approved a submission to the province for one-time funding requests totaling $1,866,300, and approved a draw of up to $308,800 from Capital Reserves for the new Gravenhurst dental operatory and accessible washroom that will allow it to offer dental care services to eligible seniors.

At the same meeting the Board of Health supported advocating for stable public health funding. In recent years, public health funding from the province has not kept pace with population growth or the Consumer Price Index. Funding for most health units has been frozen for all but one of the last five years, resulting in a loss of capacity. In addition, with the Public Health Modernization changes in the 2019 provincial budget, the shift in financial responsibility for public health to municipalities also creates a challenge for local boards of health. An advocacy resolution will be submitted to the Association of Local Public Health Agencies for consideration at its annual general meeting in June.

Infectious disease program under stress

The health unit’s Infectious Diseases (ID) program, which is responsible for investigating and monitoring all infectious diseases, providing consultation and infection control advice to healthcare providers, as well as assisting in the management of outbreaks in community and high-risk settings, is a program under pressure. The Board of Health was recently informed that while the program has seen a dramatic increase in workload in the past decade, including several large-scale response activities and a new mandate for inspection prevention and control lapse investigations, staffing resources have remained static. In order to manage the program’s ability to meet mandated activities and targets, the program has had to re-prioritize disease investigations and other related activities.


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the board of health takes place on March 18 at 9:15 a.m.
in the Barrie office, 15 Sperling Drive.

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