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Council calling for ‘stable, predictable’ funding for public health

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The City of North Bay is advocating for increased funding for the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. 

Council passed a motion to request the province extend COVID-19 funding into 2022 and increase base funding for public health. 

Councillor Scott Robertson says it’s all about getting more predictable and stable funding. 

“There’s a lot going on with COVID-19, a lot of added costs and we’ve been getting one-time mitigating funding.  We’re just asking to get some idea of what to expect in 2022.  We haven’t had any increase in base funding, I believe, since 2018 so we’re asking for an increase to our base funding,” he says. 

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Councillor Bill Vrebosch seconded the motion. 

“They haven’t had an increase since 2018 and they don’t really know what they’re going to be working with until the year-end of the government.  (I’m) pleased to support this idea that they need some more funding, these people have been run ragged,” he says. 

Dr. Jim Chricio, Medical Officer of Health and Nancy Jacko, Chairperson of the Board of Health write in a letter to Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Health Minister, that Health Unit’s have only had one base increase in funding in the past five years.  

“However, wage and benefit increases and general increases to operating costs due to inflation continue,” states their letter.  “In addition, two public health union contracts are to be negotiated in 2022 with workforces experiencing recruitment and retention issues.” 

They write that a base funding increase next year is necessary to maintain public health services at the status quo. 

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