For Immediate Release
September 27, 2001
Dr. David McKeown
Medical Officer of Health
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, Ext. 2215
Service Reductions for Healthy Babies,
Healthy Children Program after Province Freezes Money for 2001
(Brampton) - Peel Health's Healthy Babies Healthy Children program has been forced to reduce its service offerings to families during the prenatal period and with children under six years of age to meet a $715,000 funding shortfall from the Province.
The Healthy Babies Healthy Children program has been funded by the provincial government since it started in 1998. To deal with the shortfall, Peel Health has changed the program to ensure those who need the service most will receive it.
"The province's decision to freeze the budget at last year's level has significantly affected our ability to provide timely service to all Peel parents with newborns," says Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel.
Under the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program, all Peel Region families with newborns receive a telephone call from a Public Health Nurse within 48 hours after release from hospital. During these calls, new parents will receive advice and support to help them with the changes a new baby brings to their homes, and are offered a home visit by a Public Health Nurse.
While all Peel families with newborns are assessed within 48 hours, only those identified with immediate concerns are given priority and visited at home within five working days. All others must now wait six to eight weeks for a home visit. Overall, Peel Health has seen a 20 per cent decline in the acceptance of a home visit in part because of these delays.
Following the initial home visit, families with additional needs may join the Healthy Babies Healthy Children expanded support network. Under this program, overburdened families receive ongoing home visiting support from Public Health Nurses and Family Visitors. The recent changes in program funding have left 30 families with identified needs waiting to be connected to a Family Visitor.
Regional Council has unanimously agreed to ask both the Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to provide full funding for this program.
Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595 , e-mail
Web site: http://www.region.peel.on.ca
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