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More provincial funding coming to local Ontario public health agencies

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The provincial government will fund a greater proportion of local health agencies' work on a permanent basis while reconsidering the work those agencies do, CTV News has learned

Health Minister Sylvia Jones will make the announcement at a meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in London onTuesday.

In 2019, the government announced it was cutting its share of public health funding, moving from a 75-25 cost-sharing formula with municipalities to 70 per cent from the province and 30 per cent from municipalities.

Following an outcry, the province backed down on retroactive cuts and offered mitigation funding to help transition to the new formula.

That funding was considered temporary, but has continued through 2023.

Jones will announce a return to the 75/25 funding formula, while increasing base funding for public health units by one percent a year for three years starting in 2024.

A plan to transition public health agencies to a 50/50 cost sharing arrangement is off the table.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health will work with local health agencies on a 're-levelling' of some responsibilites and roles to focus on core issues.

The Ministry of Health could not say what sort of responsibilites or programs may be taken out of the hands of public health and transferred to municipalities or the province to administer.

On Tuesday, Minister Jones will also pledge one-time transitional funding for public health agencies that wish to merge to better serve their communities.

With files from the Canadian Press 

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