EVANSTON, NS-- Communities in Cape Breton are seeing another severe loss to their healthcare. The closure of the Outpatient Withdrawal Management Program (also known as Daytox) at the Strait Richmond Hospital comes at a time when people are experiencing heightened levels of stress and anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Outpatient Withdrawal Management Program is a necessary part of healthcare in Richmond County,” says Trevor Boudreau, Progressive Conservative candidate in Richmond. “People rely on this service and will now be forced to travel and be away from family and support systems while dealing with the process of addiction treatment.”
The closure of this program has left Richmond County with no mental health and addiction support workers. At this time there is no date to reopen the daytox program at the Strait Regional Hospital. The staff who worked at the Outpatient Withdrawal Management Program have been redeployed to other facilities to provide care.
“Nova Scotians who are seeking treatment for addictions or mental health issues are being forced out of their community to receive life saving treatment,” says Boudreau.
Covid-19 has brought about stress for people and some have turned to unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanisms. There is an increased need for mental health and addictions services.
With the resignation of the Minister of Health for political reasons, Progressive Conservatives don’t want to see healthcare take a back seat to politics.
“Ideally what our community requires given the increased need for mental health and addictions care services in our region is re-introducing the previously offered in-patient Detox program at the Strait Richmond Hospital as soon as possible," says Boudreau. "At the very least, I am calling on the new Minister of Health to reinstate the Outpatient Withdrawal Management Program and provide a timeline for the return of the services.”