Our local Health Unit has a bit of extra time to decide whether it wants to merge with some other public health organizations.
The deadline for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, and Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Public Health to submit a merger proposal has been extended to “early April.”
That’s according to Dr. Linna Li, our region’s Medical Officer of Health.
“The exploration phase [for the merger], which is what we’re in now, will culminate in what’s called a ‘feasibility assessment,’” Li explains. “So, a look at the different elements of the organizations, whether it’s feasible. One of the components of that is a submission to the province, and that submission will be due in early April.”
The previous deadline for the proposal was the start of March. Li says the three organizations are still deciding whether a merger is the right move, and that it wouldn’t come into effect right away.
“If that goes forward, that piece of it would take several years,” she says. “We’re talking in the range of three years or longer, in order to actually establish a merged organization.”
Li says the Health Unit wants to provide the best possible services to clients, and it’s looking into whether a merger will help make that happen over the coming weeks.