Yesterday, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, and Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair of the Toronto Board of Health, shed more light on the cruel and short-sighted cuts to public health that Doug Ford’s Conservatives are making.
In 2018, Toronto Public Health (TPH) provided service in 800 publicly funded schools, reaching over 344,000 students, including vaccinations for more than 20,000 students, served more than 210,000 meals a day to hungry children, and completed investigations for more than 400 cases of disease outbreak.
While Doug Ford may believe that the only thing Toronto Public Health does is restaurant inspections, the truth is that TPH is a key component of our healthcare system because their work is focused on prevention. For every dollar invested into preventive care, we save countless more in future healthcare costs.
Of particular concern to me, as a former school board trustee and the former Minister of Children and Youth Services, is that these cuts to public health put crucial programs like the 600+ student breakfast programs across Toronto and daycare inspections in jeopardy.
This undervaluing of public health and prevention is astonishing and what’s even more disappointing is that this government is trying to mislead Ontarians about the impact their cuts will have. If they were really so focused on efficiencies instead of ideological cuts, they would be investing in Public Health because it is one of the most cost effective ways of reducing health care costs. Unfortunately, because good preventative care goes unnoticed, this government has decided to cut it.
Once again, we see changes from this government being made on the fly, with absolutely zero consultation or notice. Public Health is an investment in people. It’s cost effective, proven to work, and this government should reinstate funding immediately.
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