McGuinty Government Supports Public Health In Algoma



    $500,000 Grant To Develop New Integrated Public Health Facility

    SAULT STE MARIE, ON, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is
modernizing the public health system in Algoma by providing a $500,000
planning grant for the proposed new Algoma Public Health building, Health and
Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
    "We are committed to working with local public health units to help keep
Ontarians protected from infectious diseases," said Smitherman. "This grant
will bring the Algoma health unit one step closer to a new facility, so they
can better provide important health care services to Algoma residents."
    Today's funding is in addition to the $1.1 million increase that the
government has provided to Algoma Public Health for mandatory programs. In
total, Algoma will receive over $7 million for mandatory public health
programs and other specific grants.
    This building is intended to combine five existing facilities onto one
site, on the grounds of Sault College. Since 2005, the government has provided
about $939,000 to the District of Algoma Health Unit to support planning for
this project. It will provide public health mandatory and related programs as
well as mental health and addiction services to strengthen public health
programs in the Algoma area.
    "We are grateful for the government's support on this important public
health project," said Dr. Allan Northan, Medical Officer of Health, District
of Algoma Health Unit. "This will allow us to enhance disease prevention and
health promotion for Algoma residents and beyond."
    "By uploading the costs of public health from 50 per cent to 75 per cent
and by providing specific grants for programs such as Smoke Free Ontario our
government has provided unprecedented support for the important work that
Algoma Public Health does in our community," said David Orazietti, MPP for
Sault Ste. Marie. "This grant will help fund engineering and architectural
work required to build a new facility at Sault College helping Algoma Public
Health better serve the health needs of Sault and area residents."
    "This is a clear sign the government is committed to strengthening public
health services," said Mathilde Gravelle Bazinet, Chair of the North East
Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). "Planning for this project will help
us develop alternative institutional based care which will improve our
delivery of public health services."
    This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have
achieved results in health care services in Sault Ste Marie. Other initiatives
include:

    
    -   Supporting a new residential hospice to provide compassionate care to
        people with life-threatening illnesses, so they can live their final
        days in comfort and dignity
    -   Building a new Sault Area Hospital (SAH) that will have 289 beds and
        will give residents access to a full range of hospital services
    -   Increasing the province's share of public health costs from 50 per
        cent to 75 per cent by 2007
    

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Spencer, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-4320; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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