Thursday, December 8, 2011

Less Service for More People Caught in the Grips of Addiction

December 8, 2011

Moose Jaw – Another Community-Based Organization could shut down due to funding cuts. Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) recently announced that it plans to cut all funding to Angus Campbell Centre, forcing it to close on March 31, 2012, after it has provided over 35 years of front line support to all clients who suffer from addictions in Moose Jaw.

FHHR refers approximately 20% of the clients Angus Campbell sees while providing funding that is less 1% of the Regions annual expenses. 
 “So far this year we had an addition of 805 non-Health Region referred clients who stayed an average of 11 days in our facility. This year, we’ve had to turn away 504 people in need between the months of April and September,” said Barb Gailey, Addictions Councillor and SEIU-West member. “Clearly there is a need to expand our services in this community, not close us down.”

 “This is another example of the original need for sustainable, reliable and indexed funding for the Community-Based Sector,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “The clients accessing the services at Angus Campbell have had good outcomes because of the quality skills of the staff. This facility should remain open and functioning.”

Currently, there are 24 beds in use at the Centre. There is space for another 8 now and capacity to add an additional 20 with some facility updates. Instead, FHHR plans on moving the services of Thundercreek Rehabilitation Centre into the facilities previously owned by Ina Grafton Gage Home. This facility is much older and would require roughly $1.3 million to renovate, in addition to cost of acquiring the space itself.

“We respect the work that is done by Thundercreek and we know that their work is valuable to the community. The fact remains that their mandate is quite different from Angus Campbell and therefore they have different staffing requirements,” said Debbie Morrison, Addictions Counsellor. “We, at Angus Campbell, have to be certified counsellors in order to continue to receive funding from Five Hills. We are wondering how does Thundercreek qualify to provide services to the clients that we currently serve?”

Angus Campbell is sending an invoice to the Minister of Health for the $1,051,885.45 in expenses, as payment for the clients who come from other Health Regions in Saskatchewan. If they are successful with this appeal, Angus Campbell would keep its doors open.

“For the sake of our clients, I hope the Ministry of Health steps in and provides the funding. The people accessing the services of Angus Campbell need their government to help them get the help they need to be a part of these boom times in Saskatchewan,” said Morrison.

SEIU-West represents over 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan including over 1000 Community-Based Organization professionals. Our members are your family, friends, and neighbours and are an important part of the services in your communities.

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