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Budget Hits Will ‘Basically Gut’ AIDS Vancouver

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Lower Mainland HIV service groups say government funding cuts will end up costing public more.

by Tom Sandborn

Dr. Mark Tyndall

Dr. Mark Tyndall: Infections will go up The Vancouver Coastal Region Health Authority chose World Aids Day to announce it was cutting funding for community services to people with the HIV virus and AIDS.

 

Three weeks later, B.C.’s minister of health has declined to discuss the cuts with The Tyee, and health authority spokespeople say only administration costs will be trimmed without any impact on direct service delivery. 

But local front line workers and experts in the HIV/AIDS field say that the cuts will slam clinical services, leading to more disease and less effective treatment, and end up costing taxpayers more down the road. 

The head of AIDS Vancouver, the province’s longest running service provider to HIV positive people, said the cuts would ‘basically gut’ his organization. 

The provincial government has directed the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to eliminate a projected $90 million deficit in its nearly $3 billion budget for this fiscal year. The cuts to Vancouver-area community-based HIV/AIDS groups announced Dec. 1 will account for approximately a million dollars of the hoped for savings in 2009-2010. 

The groups whose funding has been reduced include Aids Vancouver, the Dr. Peter Centre, Youthco, and the Positive Outlook Program at Vancouver Native Health Society. 

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Written by thecanadianheadlines

December 26, 2009 at 9:57 pm

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