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Published on Friday, April 5, 2024

Board of Health approves GBPH budget for 2024

Last August, the Ministry of Health announced a Strengthening Public Health in Ontario strategy, aimed at optimizing capacity, stability, and sustainability in the Province’s Public Health system.

The plan includes several priorities, including those related to funding for Public Health Units and support for voluntary mergers between existing Health Units.

In releasing the plan, the Ministry of Health announced that Public Health Units will receive annual 1% base funding increases over the next three years as the Ministry collaborates with municipalities on a longer-term, sustainable funding agreement.

While this ensures predictable, stable funding for health units, the 1% annual increase has created a challenging budget shortfall for Public Health Units, including Grey Bruce Public Health, due to ongoing inflationary pressures and escalating costs.

During a comprehensive budgeting process, GBPH developed a plan to address the funding shortfall while minimizing job losses and service impacts. This plan was endorsed by the Grey-Bruce Board of Health, which approved GBPH’s 2024 budget at its February meeting.

“While some Ontario health units have announced significant layoffs in recent months to deal with budgetary pressures, Grey Bruce Public Health developed a plan to address its funding shortfall largely through attrition, the gapping of some positions, maximizing back-office savings, realigning certain functions, and finding other efficiencies,” says Grey-Bruce Board of Health Chair Sue Carleton.

“I’m happy to share that we’ve been able to balance the budget while maintaining service levels and without the need for group layoffs.”

GBPH’s $16.5-million budget requires only a 1% funding increase from both Grey and Bruce counties, which contribute a combined 18.2% of its operating revenue. The remainder of GBPH’s operating revenue comes from the Province through several Ministries.

As part of the Strengthening Public Health in Ontario plan, the Ministry of Health is also encouraging Local Public Health Agencies to explore voluntary mergers with neighbouring health units.

Recently, the Grey-Bruce Board of Health corresponded with neighbouring health units. The discussions concluded no potential merger at this time.

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