Published on Thu, 02/27/2020 by Canadian Union of Public Employees

North Bay community rally in support of hospital addiction treatment beds Friday at noon

NORTH BAY, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– Following a community town hall call that drew more than 2000 people from North Bay on the line, the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is sponsoring a rally tomorrow, Friday February 28 at noon to keep a 29-bed addiction treatment hospital program open.

Many on the community call held over a week ago, said they would try to attend tomorrow’s rally at MPP Vic Fedeli’s office, at 219 Main Street East.  The OHC is also planning a public meeting on March 10 at le Centre Culturel Les Compagnons, 315 Dudley Street.

When we compare addiction rates in southern Ontario, addiction rates in northeastern Ontario are higher. According to the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, overdose-related hospital emergency room visits between 2016 and 2019 have gone up. In 2016 there were 39 overdose emergency department visits. That number jumped to 105 in 2018 and 114 in 2019. Most of those overdosing are younger adults between 25-44 years old.

In an informal poll on the community town hall call, 94 per cent of those participating said they oppose the closure of the only 24-7 hospital-based addiction treatment program in North Bay.

Since the closure was announced, a campaign to keep the hospital program open has gained considerable support including from the provincial NDP health critic, who wants to see the hospital beds remain and community services expanded. Recently the North Bay Regional Health Centre announced that it would be operating a 16-bed residential program in the community.

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For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon                       416-559-9300