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York Region urges province to maintain current system for public health

Feedback to provincial discussion papers also seeks increased funding for paramedic services
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NEWS RELEASE
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF YORK
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York Region is committed to collaborating with the Ministry of Health to modernize public health and emergency health services across Ontario.

The province has been consulting on the modernization of public health and emergency health services since 2019. Most recently, the province released two discussion papers asking for community and stakeholder feedback by Feb. 10, 2020.

“The current integrated governance model of public health and emergency health services within the municipal structure has clearly benefited our 1.2 million residents who call York Region home,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “York Region’s current model is effective, responsive and efficient. The Region maintains our Council’s position to preserve this model.”

York Region is finalizing a response to these papers. Highlights include:
Public Health

  • Maintain the current governance, geography, integrated service delivery model and funding levels
  • Maintain Medical Officer of Health autonomy to set priorities and inform Board of Health decision-making based on local needs
  • Maintain efficiencies that have been developed within the current structure, such as sharing of data and training opportunities, and achieving economies of scale when purchasing goods and services 
  • Continue the effective integration with other community services to address social determinants of health
Emergency Health Services
  • Prioritize the modernization of dispatch technologies and triage algorithms. Employ proven best practices so paramedic resources are used most effectively and the most critical patients receive services faster
  • Enable new models of care to improve ambulance availability and promote patient-centred care
  • Continue providing provincial funding for nurses to reduce patient offloads at emergency departments and implement proven models of care that reduce offload time delay to ensure paramedics are in the community ready to respond to emergency calls
  • Increase the use of innovative programs such as community paramedicine developed by York Region Paramedic Services and provide funding to sustain these programs
  • Maintain the current municipal governance model for emergency health services and provide funding for municipal paramedic services at 50% of actual operating costs

“York Region Public Health and Paramedic Services are closely aligned with health, social, housing and other services being part of the municipal structure,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Gino Rosati, Chair of Community and Health Services. “Maintaining the current structure will enable both programs to continue providing seamless customer experience by referring their clients to the Region’s other human services as needed.”

View the public health modernization discussion paper and the emergency health services modernization discussion paper
 
The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

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