NDP urges pause to public health funding cuts as province deals with coronavirus

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TORONTO -- Ontario's opposition NDP says Premier Doug Ford must pause cuts to public health funding as health-care workers grapple with the novel coronavirus outbreak.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath says today the Progressive Conservatives must restore provincial public health funding to 2019 levels to maintain services.

The Tory government announced in the 2019 budget changes to cost-sharing arrangements with municipalities, forcing them to contribute more to public health.

Horwath says the government must also pause its plan to restructure the number of health units, which could lead to the consolidation of some of the agencies.

The NDP is also asking the government to review the province's response to the coronavirus outbreak to help determine future public health funding levels.

A spokesman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province is prepared to respond to the novel coronavirus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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