Elgin, Oxford boards of health to merge

The Elgin and Oxford health boards have announced a plan to merge.

In a news release sent Friday, officials say the merger was endorsed by the health unit boards.

The release from the boards say the merger will “strengthen our capacity to deliver exceptional programs and services and our ability to respond to the unique needs of our small urban and rural communities.”

The release also says the health units have a history of collaboration and share similar geographic, demographic, health status and population characteristics.

Officials say the merger goals are consistent with numerous provincial reports suggesting the need to reduce the number of health units, increase capacity at local health units, and govern with skills-based boards.

Staffing levels will have to be explored and a transitional board will be appointed in the spring.

 A name for the new health unit will be announced at a later date.