The Board of Health of the Grey Bruce Health Unit has adopted its budget for 2022.

The $19.4-million budget includes about $3.4 million in one-time provincial funding for costs related to COVID-19 case and contact management, the COVID-19 vaccine program and recovery/resumption of services and programs. That amount is 27 per cent less than the one-time funding requested for 2021.

Ontario's Public Sector Salary Disclosure for 2021 was released today, and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra's salary is reported to have been $514,572.  In 2020, Dr. Arra was the highest paid MOH in the province by a wide margin at $631,510.  The Board of Health attributed this to pandemic-related overtime  and having no Associate Medical Officer of Health (AMOH) to whom he could delegate legislated responsibilities. 

The Health Unit still operates with no AMOH. Physician Consultant Dr. Rim Zayed, who has been assisting Dr. Arra since February 2021, is restricted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons to practise public health and preventive medicine with Grey Bruce Public Unit only while under the supervision of Dr. Arra.

The 2022 Health Unit budget does not require an increase in funding from Grey and Bruce counties. This is the fourth straight year that county costs for public health have remained unchanged.

The combined county allocation is $2.86 million, with Grey County contributing $1.67 million and Bruce County contributing $1.19 million, based on population share.

In 2020, the year the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Grey Bruce Health Unit managed to mount an emergency response with provincial extraordinary funding equivalent to six per cent of its base budget.

For 2021, public health navigated the first full year of the pandemic, including the COVID-19 vaccination program rollout, with extraordinary funding of about 28 per cent of its base budget.

“We are grateful for the support of community partners, municipalities and volunteers who assisted with our mass immunization program. Municipalities donated space for our Hockey Hub clinics, volunteers provided a helping hand at the clinics and community partners were generous with their support,” says Board of Health chair Sue Paterson.

The Grey Bruce Health Unit’s pandemic response required $1.9 million in additional provincial funding to provide first, second and booster dose COVID-19 vaccines to all residents who wanted them in 2021, and case, contact and outbreak management required $1.7 million in provincial funding. Both of these responses required an additional expense that was 23 per cent less than anticipated.

source: media releases, GBHU, Province of Ontario



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