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Local health units vote to merge together to ‘strengthen public health’

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit and Peterborough Public Health (PPH) will seek provincial approval and funding to voluntary merge.

Last August, the Ministry of Health announced plans to “strengthen the public health sector” by offering one-time funding, resources and supports to public health agencies that decide to merge by January 1, 2025.

Local officials say in response the two boards, after conducting a comprehensive Feasibility Assessment, decided to to proceed with a proposal to merge.

They add the next step is for the two health units to submit a joint voluntary merger application to the province by April 2.

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“We have been diligent in the timeframe provided to review and consider all possible outcomes and impacts of a voluntary merger,” said David Marshall, Chair for HKPR District Health Unit’s Board of Health. “Ultimately, we agreed that by merging with Peterborough Public Health we can strengthen our capacity to deliver exceptional public health programs and services and to better respond to the unique needs of our small urban and rural communities.”

Officials say the merger requires provincial legislative change, and will not be definitive until the province has approved it.

Both PPH and HKPR District Health Unit will continue to operate independently during the provincial review period.

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