Ottawa Board of Health invites comments on 2012 Draft Budget

Ottawa – The Draft 2012 Budget for the Ottawa Board of Health was tabled at the Sept. 19 meeting of the Board. The Board invites comments on the draft budget, which can be found online at ottawa.ca. The budget is scheduled to be approved at a special meeting of the Board on Oct. 17.

“We want to hear from residents, community groups and businesses across the city about this budget and the strategic direction of Ottawa Public Health (OPH),” said Councillor Diane Holmes, Chair of the Board. “I encourage residents to have their say by emailing, calling or presenting us with their feedback.”

The Draft 2012 Budget projects a $52.7 million balanced budget in line with the City of Ottawa’s Long Range Financial Plan, including a 2.5 % increase on the City portion. About $11.5 million is funded through the City of Ottawa, the remainder is funded by the Province of Ontario.

The budget maintains public health services from vaccine clinics to restaurant inspections to breastfeeding support and also provides for the identification of $517,000 in reinvested efficiencies. Those efficiencies will allow OPH to undertake programs that address new health needs:

o Outbreak Management & Public Health Inspection – Increases the number of inspections of establishments where invasive body modification procedures such as piercings, tongue-splitting, subcutaneous implants, and tattoos are performed. ($200,000)

o New Baby Express & Social Determinants of Health – In partnership with the Ottawa Public Library, a program focused on supporting new parents in the areas of breastfeeding, newborn growth and development and parenting skills. ($145,000)

o Support to Seniors & Caregivers – Increases awareness and access to information and supports forinformal caregivers in Ottawa. ($147,000)

“I’m proud of the work that was performed by staff at OPH on this budget,” says Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health. “We met the challenge of finding savings and following the strategic direction of both the Board of Health and City Council.”

OPH staff are also exploring new funding opportunities through sponsorship, community partnerships, a review of fees for service and increasing one-time grants.

Residents wishing to address the Board are encouraged to register in advance by contacting Jane Dare at 613-580-2424 x12799 or e-mailing: [email protected].

The Board will be approving the budget on October 17 at 6 p.m., in the Champlain Room at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West.

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