Rad­i­cal health unit cuts pro­posed

The Chatham Daily News - - NEWS - JONATHAN SHER POST­MEDIA NEWS

LON­DON — On­tario has qui­etly pro­posed sweep­ing changes to pub­lic health units that could make them less nim­ble re­spond­ing to emer­gen­cies such as SARS, an ex­pert and op­po­si­tion health critic warn.

An ex­pert panel con­vened by On­tario’s Lib­eral govern­ment has rec­om­mended scrap­ping the prov­ince’s 36 health units and re­plac­ing them with 14 much larger bu­reau­cra­cies that replica te the ge­o­graphic bound­aries of agen­cies over­see­ing health­care spend­ing, called lo­cal health in­te­gra­tion net­works (LHINs).

In the Lon­don re­gion alone, that would mean re­plac­ing seven lo­cal health units with a sin­gle be­he­moth cov­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties from Owen Sound to St. Thomas, and that could make them less re­spon­sive to lo­cal needs, in­clud­ing pub­lic health emer­gen­cies.

“(The pro­pos­als) are a leap of faith. (The panel) didn’t pro­vide any ev­i­dence,” said Joseph Lyons, di­rec­tor of the lo­cal govern­ment pro­gram at Western Univer­sity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.