Cuts to Toronto Public Health are a careless dismissal of doctors’ expertise
2019-05-15 from theglobendmail.com
Eileen de Villa has a lot of letters after her name. There’s MD, of course, to be expected of the doctor who is Toronto’s medical officer of health. Along with her medical degree from the University of Toronto, she has a MHSc, or Masters of Health Science. She also uses the professional designations CCFP and FRCPC, proof that she passed the exams required to practise as a physician in Canada.
Such letters aren’t the only indicator of knowledge: From software developers to electricians, plenty of people excel in important fields without them. What’s behind Dr. de Villa’s letters is what really matters, and that’s the expertise needed to run a crucially important office.
In the current battle between public-health units and the provincial government, she’s the one who has earned the right to be trusted with three million lives. And on Tuesday, she said – again – that she’s worried about the people in her care.
“I do not believe it is hyperbole to suggest that there is risk to the lives of Torontonians if public health is underfunded,” Dr. de Villa said at a city-council meeting. She was there to discuss newly announced plans by the Ontario government to cut another $20-million from her budget in 2020, in addition to the $86-million in cuts that have happened this year, and the $105-million already scheduled for next.
The expertise of Dr. de Villa and a slew of other Ontario doctors has been sidelined since April, when the Progressive Conservatives first announced cuts to public-health units across the province.
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