NORTH BAY, ON, Dec. 22, 2019 /CNW/ - Amid shock and concern that a vitally needed 29-bed hospital-based addiction treatment program will close, community support is growing in North Bay.
A vigil is planned for Monday December 23, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. in front of MPP Vic Fedeli's office 165 Main Street, East.* All in Nipissing are welcome to attend the ceremony organized by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 139.
Since CUPE made the closure public earlier this week, a handful of community-based beds were hastily announced. At the time CUPE said that closing the 29-bed residential treatment program at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) and moving to a less reliable out-patient clinical support, would result in more human tragedies. Since May 2019 there were 138 drug-related reported overdoses and 6 fatalities in North Bay.
"This is a cruel and very deep cut to a vitally important health service and it is being dishonestly marketed as an enhancement," says Michael Hurley president of CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE). "Twenty-nine residential addiction treatment beds are not at all the same as eighteen transitional housing beds or a few crisis beds. They do not provide the same clinical support. The scientific evidence strongly endorses the benefits of residential treatment for addiction."
The Monday vigil is a signal to Mr. Fedeli that the community is awakening to the issue of keeping the 29-bed residential treatment program open and its role helping to save peoples' lives from the grip of addiction.
"No one is better positioned than the Hon. Vic Fedeli, MPP and Cabinet member, to stand up for the people of Nipissing and to fight to have this decision reversed," Hurley says.
*Due to Friday's early morning fire on Main St. East, the vigil on Monday will be held as close to MPP Vic Fedeli's constituency office as it is safely possible.
SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
For further information: Please contact: Michael Hurley, President, OCHU/CUPE, 416-884-0770; Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, [email protected]