On Nov. 16, the area board of health approved a new strategic plan and budget for Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
The 2024 operating budget amounts to $30,073,079, an increase of $1,396,294 over the 2023 budget.
“The budget includes minimal costs associated with a significantly downsized COVID-19 program that now must be funded within the cost-shared base budget, and otherwise includes only fixed cost increases and incorporates operational reductions in addition to unfunded budget pressures,” the board of health said in a news release.
René Lapierre, the city councillor for Ward 6 and the chair of the board of health, said the new 2024-28 strategic plan anticipates expected “transformative” changes contained in the new Ontario Strengthening Public Health plan unveiled in August. You can check out the provincial plan here.
Public Health Sudbury called the provnicial plan “sweeping” and said among its provisions are plans to merge some existing public health units and review local public health roles and responsibilities by 2025, while making funding changes by 2026.
“With these rapid paced and transformative changes, the Board of Health and our skilled staff need to have the capacity to fully engage in creating the future of Ontario’s public health system while ensuring we continue to be accountable, transparent, and responsive to local needs,” said Lapierre in a news release.
The Public Health Sudbury plan includes “first steps” in exploring mergers with other public units in the area.
“These decisions mean we will have the strategic direction, resources, and roadmap to see Public Health through 2024 and ensure we emerge as a strong and effective new local public health agency,” Lapierre said.