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Funding shortfall to affect HPPH programs, services in 2024

Huron Perth, ON – Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) will be restructuring its programs and services effective 2024 to address a challenging budget shortfall.

Prior to the 2020 amalgamation of the Huron County Health Unit and Perth District Health Unit, both organizations received little to no budget increases while expenses continued to rise due to inflation, affecting wages and other operating costs.

During the acute pandemic phase, one-time COVID-19 funding allowed HPPH to provide a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic; at that time approximately 75 – 78% of HPPH staff were redeployed into COVID-19 response and some additional staff were hired. However, increases to the base budget were limited, and did not keep up with rising expenses.

With COVID-19 funding ended, HPPH must address a $1.5 million funding gap accumulated over the last five years. The province’s recently announced 1% increase for public health units over the next 3 years is welcome news, but still not enough to cover the gap.

“We have had to make difficult decisions,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron and Perth. “We have spent the past year decreasing program expenses in a variety of ways; however most of our budget is for human resources. We had to make the difficult decision to remove positions from the organization.”

There will be 13.5 positions removed from the HPPH organizational structure, which is an approximate 10% reduction in staffing levels. Some of these eliminations will occur through retirements and unfortunately, layoffs and ending of temporary staff contracts. Positions will be removed from several areas of the health unit, including management.

These changes will impact the programs and services HPPH will be able to provide to the community.

HPPH will be relying on its newly released 2024-2027 Strategic Plan to help determine how best to deliver programs and services in the years ahead. The plan is available for viewing at

“Public health in Ontario is heading into a transitional time,” says Dr. Klassen. “Public health structure, funding and mandates are under review. We expect new Ontario Public Health Standards to be implemented in 2025, and a new funding approach to be implemented in 2026.”

HPPH continues to participate in the consultation process for these initiatives.

The HPPH 2024-2027 Strategic Plan will help HPPH chart the course in the transitional years ahead, building on the organization’s mission, vision and values to focus on specific priorities and initiatives.

More information about specific changes to HPPH programs and services will be communicated as they are implemented. Changes are expected to take place by January 2024.

Contact Us

Huron Perth Public Health

Huron Office
77722B London Road, RR #5, Clinton, ON
N0M 1L0

Perth Office
653 West Gore St., Stratford ON N5A 1L4
Toll-free 1-888-221-2133

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