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Toronto Board of Health to discuss budget healthcare cuts in special meeting

Last Updated Apr 15, 2019 at 9:08 am EDT

Toronto’s Board of Health will convene a special meeting on Monday to discuss the provincial government’s cuts to Public Health announced in Thursday’s budget.

The chair of the board, Spadina-Fort York councillor Joe Cressy, called the meeting to address cuts he calls “deeply concerning” and “dangerous.”

In a release, Cressy points out that the budget proposes to consolidate 35 public health units across the province to just 10. Overall funding for the health units will be reduced by $200 million. Cressy says local health units carry out important functions including monitoring water quality, regulating food safety, conducting vaccination programs and controlling infectious diseases.

The Toronto Public Health Unit, in particular, has also been tracking the opioid crisis.

Cressy added that the budget indicates a change in the provincial-municipal funding formula for public health programs, but does not give any additional details about the proposed changes. Currently, the programs are 75 per cent funded by the province, with municipalities pitching in the remaining 25 per cent.

The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. in council chambers on Monday.

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