The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has received almost $1.8M in additional funds.
The money came from the province in support of stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP, says municipalities and public health units have played an extraordinary role in supporting the province’s pandemic response, as well as the roll-out of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“The Ontario Government acknowledges their incredible and continuing efforts to protect the health and safety of Ontario,” he said.
The money is part of the 47-million dollar one-time mitigation fund for public health units.
Anna Miller, Senior Communications Advisor for the Ministry of Health, says COVID-19 has required a level of response from the public health sector that goes way beyond the norm resulting in increased expenditures.
“In recognition of the very unique circumstances and cash flow considerations at the local level, processes have been put in place for public health units to request reimbursement from the Ministry of Health of extraordinary costs incurred associated with responding to COVID-19 at the local level,” she said.
The ministry says provincial funding allocations for all public health units in 2021, including one-time funding to offset extraordinary costs incurred associated with responding to COVID-19 at the local level, were confirmed and recently communicated to public health units. Payments for the recently approved one-time funding for COVID-19 extraordinary costs were made in early August.
Prior to this nearly 1.8 million dollar shot in the arm, our Health Unit received $2 million for COVID-19 immunization and $130,000 for other COVID-19 costs.
“These amounts are approximately 50% of what we requested but there will be opportunities to request further funding with each quarterly report this year,” reads a statement from the Health Unit’s communications department.
“As forecasted costs were based on initial budgets/estimates from the public health units, and are expected to change, the ministry approved only a portion (50%) of the submitted extraordinary costs associated with the COVID-19 vaccine program at this time for all 34 public health units,” said Miller.
Miller says the ministry will continue to monitor and track public health unit funding requirements/actual spending for the COVID-19 vaccine program through in-year quarterly financial reports and make any further adjustments to approved funding (if required).
“Ontario remains committed to working with public health and municipal sector partners to monitor capacity and funding requirements for the COVID-19 response and ensure critical public health services are maintained and delivered to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians,” said Miller.