April 15th, 2019

Ford’s cuts to public health units will make Ontarians less safe

QUEEN’S PARK — In question period Monday, NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh said the Ford government’s scheme to cut $200 million out of health care by slashing the number of public health units to just 10, down from 35, will make Ontarians less safe.

“Public health units administer vaccines that keep people from getting sick, and keep them out of already-overcrowded hospitals. The units inspect restaurants to ensure hygiene practices are being followed, and they make sure water is safe to drink,” Singh said in the legislature. “Public health’s bottom line is to keep people safe — something Doug Ford is putting in jeopardy by cutting public health funding by more than 25 per cent.”

The government’s plan to cut 11 public health laboratories across Ontario raises the worrying question of whether Ford plans to hand over the province’s world-class network of public health labs to whatever for-profit companies bid on the job, Singh said.

“Ontario’s public health labs keep individuals and communities safe, testing for infectious diseases and helping public health officials identify dangerous outbreaks of disease. The Ford government’s deep cuts to social services, mental health and children and youth shows it has no qualms trying to make a buck at the expense of people’s health and well-being.

“Ontarians deserve a government that protects our public health system, and invests in a not-for-profit, publicly funded and publicly delivered health care system.”