VANCOUVER, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Despite strong community opposition and media
attention, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority continues to dismantle
the outpatient Domestic Violence Program at Vancouver General Hospital.
The 18-year-old program is slated to close at the end of this week.
HSA President Reid Johnson said the sudden closure of this program puts
vulnerable women at risk.
"In-patient care is very different from the care that was being provided
through the outpatient program being shut down this week," he said.
"In-patient means a woman was battered badly enough to be admitted to
hospital. An outpatient program seeks to prevent such incidents
from ever occurring." Johnson added that inpatient care is several more
times more expensive than outpatient counselling: "Cutting outpatient
care will result in higher medical costs overall, in addition to
suffering," he said.
Johnson called on VCH to listen to concerned women and community groups,
and rescind the closure. "Over the last three weeks since the surprise
announcement of this closure, women who have had the benefit of the
program's services have been speaking out through CBC TV and The
Tyee, urging VCH to reconsider," he said.
"In addition, concerned community groups have mobilized their networks.
The Battered Women's Services Society - which may be among the community
groups to whom VCH plans to transfer current clients - are saying they
don't have the capacity to absorb any new clients," Johnson said. The
BWSS currently has a 100-woman waiting list for counselling. He noted
that the BC Association of Social Workers swiftly condemned the closure,
and the BC Health Coalition has issued an "Action
"Within just a few days, the BC Health Coalition has been copied on 300
letters to Health Minister Falcon, VGH, and VCH," Johnson said. "They're
reporting an overwhelming response to the closure, with almost 10,000
hits on their Action Alert webpage."
The Health Sciences Association is the union representing more than
16,000 health science professionals who are part of BC's modern health
TAKE ACTION: see the BC Health Coalition's Action
Alert here and send a letter to Health Minister Kevin Falcon and VCH
CEO Dr. David Ostrow.
urges VGH not to dismantle domestic violence program
SOURCE Health Sciences Association of British Columbia
For further information: For further information:
Yukie Kurahashi (604) 439-0994 or (778) 869-1034, firstname.lastname@example.org,