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Provincial boards of health in the spotlight

A Northern Ontario mayor says the trouble that a northern health unit got into last year could have ramifications for health units province-wide. Algoma Public Health came under the microscope when improprieties at the agency forced the minister of health to order a review. That review now has a consultant suggesting that the health unit’s board of directors have certain skill sets. But the mayor of Elliot Lake, Dan Marchisella opposes this. Currently city councils appoint the directors and Marchisella says that’s to ensure municipal representation. He says if the minister adopts the skill set recommendation, it puts other health units on dangerous ground for the mistakes of one agency.

Marchisella says if a health unit needs specialists like an accountant or lawyer, then it should hire them but these people should not be directors.

Marchisella says it’s up to the minister of health to accept the recommendations of the consultant. He believes if the recommendations are implemented, that could set a precedence for how other health unit boards are formed.

The Board of Health for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit currently has two members that represent the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and one member represents each of the City of Brockville, the County of Lanark, the Town of Smiths Falls, the Town of Gananoque and the Town of Prescott.



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