THUNDER BAY – The 2020 Thunder Bay District Health Unit Budget was approved by the Board of Health at the November meeting.
On an annual basis, the TBDHU prepares its operating budgets for review and approval by its Board. The budget approval then becomes the foundation for the Annual Service Plan and Budget Submission that is provided to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in the first quarter of the new year. The budget is also used to invoice the municipalities for their portion of the funding.
Starting January 2020, as directed by the provincial government in the 2019 Ontario Budget, the funding of public health programs and services will transition to a 70-30 cost-sharing arrangement between the province and the municipalities in TBDHU. The current cost-sharing arrangement is 75-25 with some programs being funded 100% provincially. Most of the 100% funds will now also be changing to 70-30 cost-shared. This reflects a substantial change to funding for public health, with a reduction of approximately $1.3 million in provincial funding for TBDHU and an increase to the municipal portion. For 2020, the province is putting measures in place to limit the increase to municipalities to 10% over 2019 amounts.
2020 Budget Facts:
- The 2020 cost-shared budget for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is $15,899,243, which represents an increase of 42% as compared with 2019.
- The budget incorporates cost reductions of over $300,000 to address inflationary pressures and salary
- An increase in the municipal funding of $2.61 per person or $292,140 in total (up 10% compared to 2019).
- The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care will continue to provide 100% funds for a limited number of programs including the Ontario Seniors Dental Program and the Northern Fruit and Vegetable
“Public health is a foundation of the health system. Through a diversity of programs and services, TBDHU staff work every day to promote and protect the health, and prevent disease. These are challenging times as we implement changes put forward in the Ontario Budget while at the same time preserving the high-quality programs that are so important for the overall health and well-being of residents and communities in TBDHU,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer.
“The Board of Health is committed to maintaining effective public health programming for TBDHU. These are difficult times, however, and the added burden placed on municipalities poses significant challenges,” said Mr. James McPherson, Chair of the Board. The Board has and will continue to advocate for a strong and sustainable public health system for TBDHU, through the Public Health modernization process currently underway.