The Ottawa Board of Health recently approved a new strategic plan for Ottawa Public Health (OPH) – Protecting our Community’s Health: Ottawa Public Health’s 2019- 2022 Strategy. This new strategy affirms OPH’s core mandate of health protection and promotion with a focus on prevention of disease and injury. Anchored in evidence and guided by best practices and community engagement, the strategy addresses the unique health needs of our City, across urban, suburban and rural areas.
This plan focuses on key priorities, such as mental health and substance use, and positions the organization to meet new challenges in order to have a greater impact on the health of the population into the future.
The four Strategic Directions for OPH are:
- Promote mental health and reduce the health and social harms of substance use;
- Drive prevention across the health system;
- Influence the social and physical environments that support health and well-being; and
- Maximize potential in people, processes and resources.
Ontario’s public health sector is in a period of significant change; this renewed strategy represents an important commitment to continuity of service and continuous improvement through this period.
The update on the provincial plans for changes to the public health system in Ontario include short and long term goals, health outcomes and access and service delivery across urban, suburban and rural communities and the larger eastern Ontario region.
The Provincial Government announced plans in Budget 2019 to amalgamate 35 public health units and boards of health in Ontario to 10 regional public health entities, while also adjusting the municipal cost-sharing formula from about 75:25 to 60:40 over two years. The regional boundaries have yet to be finalized, but were initially proposed to include municipalities as far southwest as Kingston, east to the Quebec border, and north to include Renfrew. The province is conducting consultations over the summer with a goal to introduce legislation in the fall.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH)’s is confident that although the structure of public health in Ontario is changing, their mandate and services to promote and protect the health and well-being of residents will continue.
Public health thrives when programs and services are collaboratively built and delivered to meet the specific needs of local populations, and this happens through longstanding relationships at the local level. OPH is committed to working in partnership to protect and promote the health of Ottawa and to keeping partners informed of significant changes along the way.
If you have any questions or comments on the proposed changes to public health or the new Strategic Plan, please reach out to Ottawa Public Health, Tel: (613) 580-2424 ext. 23681.
Download the Ottawa Public Health – Strategy PDF for more details.