Impact of provincial cuts on local health unit remains unknown

Alexis Green
Alexis Green, a public health nurse with the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, spoke to Perth councillors May 7 along with colleague Jane Hess, the health unit’s director of healthy living and development. Photo credit: Chris Must.
Posted on: May 8, 2019

The impact of cuts to local services like those provided by the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit are going to cost Perth money, says Mayor John Fenik.

In a presentation to Perth town council’s Committee of the Whole Tuesday, May 7, health unit representatives Jane Hess and Alexis Green said budget cuts are on the way, but the consequences of those cuts remain unknown.

“These days we don’t know what will happen to us after April 1, 2020,” said Hess, the health unit’s director of healthy living and development.

The health unit representatives provided council with an overview of their 2019-2022 strategic plan and described the many services offered by public health nurses in partnership with local municipalities. The health unit has a role in assessing the health of local populations along with disease prevention and protection measures.

“You can see how we can impact on many people in many different ways,” said Hess.

Commenting on recently announced provincial budget cuts, Councillor Judy Brown said, “It concerns me a great deal when the provincial government arbitrarily cuts funding.

“How do you plan long term when something like this happens?”

“I’m not happy, obviously,” said Hess, adding that the health unit will continue to have the support of local partners, including municipalities.

“The (provincial) downloading is going to cost this municipality money,” said Mayor John Fenik. He added that council must inform local members of provincial parliament about the importance of the health unit’s work, as well the importance of local libraries and “the next dozen things that are going to come up.”

Article by Chris Must