Health units fear a dilution of service from Ford mergers

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By Nick Seebruch
Health units fear a dilution of service from Ford mergers

CORNWALL, Ontario – In their first budget as a government, the Progressive Conservatives lead by Doug Ford have proposed merging health units in the province of Ontario.

Currently there are 35 Public Health Units across the province, but the government’s proposals would see that number reduced to 10.

“Municipalities who share in our budget will be concerned and rightly so because they may have less of a say,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the Medical Officer of Health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “The services will be diluted. We are worried we are going to lose the voice of the regions we represent.”

Dr. Roumeliotis said that rural areas like SD&G see different rates of different diseases than neighbouring urban regions like Ottawa.

“We see that in our area there is a higher rate of heart disease for example,” he said. “There are lots of differences and many demographic differences.”

In a recent statement to media, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell said that his government’s budget would help build a more sustainable future.

“Budget 2019 focuses on protecting what matters most – our world-class health care and education systems. We need to make sure the Cornwall Community Hospital and other assets are protected for generations to come,” said MPP McDonell. “This is also a plan that puts people first, while making Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”

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