Media Statement: Algoma residents will bear the brutal brunt of cuts to public health services, notes Ontario Nurses’ Association

November 24, 2023

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, November 23, 2023 – With Algoma Public Health approving its budget on November 22, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is warning that cuts to well-attended and established public health programs and services will further broaden the gap to access.

“Our members are scared for the residents of Algoma. It is already a great challenge as it is for residents to access vital public health services, but to further reduce or cut any programs or services will put people in even more precarious positions,” said ONA President Erin Ariss, RN. “Public health units are charged with protecting residents’ health. When cuts in services occur, they are failing their citizens.”

Algoma Public Health recently cut its smoking cessation services and removed nurses from its sexual health information line. There are fewer public flu vaccine clinics being held, no more in-person prenatal services, and several programs for new parents and their babies have already been cut. “Algoma Public Health is turning into a bare-bones service for residents. It is outrageous to cut any services when they are more needed than ever.”

ONA is calling on the Board of Health to protect the delivery of invaluable and longstanding public health programs and services in their communities. “We all need the expert care and services of our public health nurses and health-care professionals deliver now more than ever. The employer has yet to make it clear which workers will be cut, but the bottom line is that any cuts to the front lines will be paid for with peoples’ health.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.


To arrange an interview, contact:

ONA Media