More than 100 Toronto emergency room professionals release open letter urging the Province to reverse harmful new cuts to Public Health

TORONTO – More than 100 emergency room professionals - physicians, physician assistants, residents, nurse practitioners, paramedics and medical students - from 8 hospitals in the GTA, released an open letter today urging the Ford government to reverse their harmful new cuts to public health.

"We the undersigned emergency care providers write to you to express our grave concern regarding the Government's renewed commitment to cut critical funding to Toronto Public Health," the introduction to the letter reads. "Toronto Public Health services play a vital role in keeping people healthy and reducing undue stress on our already overburdened emergency departments."

"As a full time Toronto emergency physician working in 3 GTA hospitals, the Ford Government cuts to Toronto Public Health could not come at a worse time," said Toronto emergency room physician Dr. Raghu Venugopal. "Cutting Toronto Public Health funding will worsen the health of Torontonians. It will make hallway medicine worse. The province of Ontario should be increasing, and not cutting Public Health funding."

The new rounds of cuts, announced on August 16th, mean fewer provincial dollars for all public health programs, like student breakfast programs, school vaccinations, water quality testing, food safety inspections, addressing the opioid crisis, and more. Critically, programs like diabetes prevention that were previously funded at 100% by the province, will now receiving 30% less provincial money.

"These new cuts mean $14 million fewer provincial dollars every year for the critical public health programs our communities rely on," said Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair of the Toronto Board of Health". "We know cutting public health is both harmful, and fiscally irresponsible. These cuts will hurt people – the Ford government must reverse them".

To view the full letter, click here.