HSABC tries to save domestic violence program

'This program is often the first time that victims of domestic violence are referred for professional help.' - Reid Johnson.

Reid Johnson, president of the Health Sciences Association of B.C. (HSABC/NUPGE)Vancouver (11 Aug. 2010) - Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) has begun dismantling a much-needed domestic violence program that has been serving the community for 18 years, says the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia (HSABC/NUPGE).

The outpatient program serves 20-25 clients per week, providing counselling for individuals in violent relationships. The program also provides support, education and referrals for child protection and safety planning.

The surprise decision is a blow to clients as well as professional and community groups who rely on the program’s expertise.

HSABC president Reid Johnson calls the move 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 redeploy the resources in a new in-patient adult guardianship program. We question the need to dismantle an effective existing program in order to do this,” he says.

“We urge VGH to maintain the outpatient Domestic Violence Program, and allocate any increase in resources to a new program. The current plan constitutes a cut in service; it’s unfair to characterize it as an increase.”

Reid says the expertise and staff association with the program are exemplary.

HSABC represents 16,000 health sciences professionals who deliver diagnosis, treatment and recovery as part of B.C.’s modern health care team.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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