Today, Ontario announced that Jim Pine, Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Hastings and former member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, will serve as advisor for renewed consultations on strengthening and modernizing public health and emergency health services. Pine will play a key role in facilitating productive discussions between the Ministry of Health and public health, emergency health and municipal stakeholders.
"Our government remains committed to working with our partners on modernizing public health and emergency health services," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Jim will play a key role in the consultation process to determine the best way to deliver these critical services so that we can continue to meet the evolving needs and priorities of Ontario's families. Strengthening both public health and emergency health services is part of our plan to end hallway health care and build a modern, integrated and sustainable health care system."
In his role as advisor to the ministry, Pine will lead consultations that will help inform the design and implementation of the government's reforms to public health and emergency health services. This work will include soliciting input from partners on designing a public health system that is nimble, resilient, efficient and responsive to emerging issues, including ensuring the following:
- Better consistency and equity of service delivery across the province;
- Improved clarity and alignment of roles and responsibilities between the province, Public Health Ontario and local public health;
- Better and deeper relationships with primary care and the broader health care system to support the goal of ending hallway health care through improved health promotion and prevention;
- Unlocking and promoting leading innovative practices and key strengths from across the province; and
- Improved public health delivery and the sustainability of the system.
"I'm looking forward to hearing directly from different communities across Ontario and giving my best advice on how to improve public health and emergency health services," said Pine. "I am confident that, together, we can identify and implement innovative and modern solutions to long-standing challenges."
Through this process, Ontario will continue to engage with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, boards of health, public health experts, Central Ambulance Communications Centres, associations, as well as affected unions and other partners. The consultations will start in the fall 2019 and is expected to conclude in 2020.
- The government has been working with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and with the Association of Local Public Health Agencies at technical tables since May 2019 to discuss public health modernization.
- The government has maintained current cost-sharing arrangements for public health and emergency health services this year. In addition, the government has increased funding by an average of nearly four per cent for land ambulance services for 2019.
- Jim Pine has been in municipal affairs for 39 years, working as a chief administrative officer in small municipalities, as a city administrator and most recently as the CAO for the County of Hastings.