Thunder Bay detox centre gets $1M boost
Money will help Balmoral detox centre expand capacity by 80%
Posted: Feb 15, 2013 10:16 AM ET
Last Updated: Feb 15, 2013 11:48 AM ET
The North West Local Health Integration Network announced nearly $1 million in funding for the Balmoral Withdrawal Management Centre Thursday, freeing up space in area hospitals.
Health care officials say three thousand people with substance abuse problems backlog the emergency room at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre every year.
The $988,000 influx of cash will allow administrators to direct about 20 percent of those patients to the Balmoral detox centre.Balmoral Withdrawal Management Centre vice president Janet Sillman says the expansion was a long time coming. (CBC)
The past few years the Balmoral centre has been so full it had to turn people away, according to the centre's vice president Janet Sillman.
"Money will be used to increase crisis and stabilization services," said Sillman.
She said the facility will be able to expand to 22 beds from seven beds — helping ease the sometimes overcrowded emergency department.
But it will also keep people out of jail by giving them the help they need, Sillman added.
"Police are so bogged down with these social ills. They're not social workers. This needs to be shifted off the police and this is what's happening today with this announcement," said Mayor Keith Hobbs.
The project will take two years to complete and the Local Health Integration Network estimates the centre will be able to serve 80 per cent more people.
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