Downtown Eastside overdose clinic closes to doctors, ambulances (Rapid Access Addiction Clinic)
A mobile emergency medical unit set up in the Downtown Eastside in December to help handle the high volume of drug overdoses in the community will scale back its services Monday and will no longer provide doctors on site or serve as a drop-off spot for ambulances.
Paramedics will instead transport patients to hospitals or recently opened clinics such as Connections on Powell Street and the Rapid Access Addiction Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, which provide treatment and addictions services and are showing an uptick in patients seeking therapy.
“We want to make sure that people don’t think now that because we’re transitioning the services that their lives don’t matter,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, the chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, regarding the medical unit at 58 West Hastings. “The message is, we’re opening up permanent services and we want to start utilizing those. We never intended the [mobile medical unit] would be there permanently. But I want to emphasize that we don’t think the crisis is over.”
Mike Howell reports
Ken, cardiac patient