Pubdate: Thu, 08 Feb 2007
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Times Colonist
Author: Howard Waldner


The Vancouver Island Health Authority does recognize growing needs in 
mental health and addictions services.

In fact, there has been a 20-percent increase in detox services in 
the past three years and our long-term planning includes the addition 
of more than 300 supported housing units for mental health and 
addiction services clients.

But the health authority has to balance the needs of all areas in the 
health care system.

VIHA is proud to have health care professionals passionate about 
providing the best care possible and any of them will likely tell you 
the greatest need for increased resources is in the area they work in.

The same goes for patients. Someone waiting for a joint replacement, 
for cancer treatment or for cardiac care, will surely tell you that's 
where VIHA should be investing its resources.

Our budgeting process involves looking at all areas of health service 
delivery and VIHA faces a difficult task of balancing competing 
demands. Our budget process involves front-line physicians in setting 

While the societal issues caused by addiction are serious, they are 
issues that VIHA alone cannot tackle.

Any chance we have of reducing the harms caused by misuse of drugs 
and alcohol must involve a targeted approach from many agencies, 
including all levels of government, police and our community partners.

Howard Waldner,


Vancouver Island

Health Authority.
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