VANCOUVER, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - Less than a week after a sudden announcement
to emergency room staff, Vancouver General Hospital has already begun
dismantling a much-needed Domestic Violence Program that has been
serving the community for 18 years.
The outpatient Domestic Violence Program serves 20-25 clients per week,
providing counselling for patients experiencing violent relationships.
The program also provides support, education and referrals for child
protection and safety planning.
The surprise move is a blow to clients of the program, as well as
professional and community groups who rely on the program's expertise.
Health Sciences Association's President, Reid Johnson, says elimination
of the program is short-sighted. "This program is often the first time
that victims of domestic violence are referred for professional help,"
he said. "VGH says they are dismantling the outpatient program in order
to re-deploy the resources in a new inpatient adult guardianship
program. We question the need to dismantle an effective existing program
in order to do this," he said.
"We urge VGH to maintain the outpatient Domestic Violence Program, and
allocate any increase in resources to a new program," he said. "The
current plan constitutes a cut in service; it's unfair to characterize
it as an increase."
"The expertise of the social work staff in the Domestic Violence Program
is exemplary," he said. "In addition to her position in the Domestic
Violence Program, this member is a clinical assistant professor of the
Department of Emergency Medicine at UBC, and is also a recipient of the
Canadian Association of Social Workers' Distinguished Service Award for
her work in providing services to victims of domestic violence," he said.
"But as of July 28, this award-winning social worker was given notice of
layoff. There was no consultation. A hospital spokesperson has said
community groups will be expected to offer the cancelled services - but
those groups have already been suffering a series of cuts, too."
"As the union representing most hospital social workers across BC, we
are working with the laid off social worker and with the VGH
administration. We urge VGH to reconsider the dismantling of this very
important Domestic Violence Program."
HSA President Reid Johnson earned his Masters of Social Work at UBC. HSA
is the union representing 16,000 health sciences professionals who
deliver diagnosis, treatment, and recovery as part of BC's modern health
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 - www.hsabc.org