Providence In The News

B.C.’s two top ambulance officals quit after investigation into ‘personnel’ matter

Photograph by: NICK PROCAYLO , PNG

The two top officials in charge of ambulance services in British Columbia have quit.

Health Minister Terry Lake confirms Michael MacDougall and Les Fisher have resigned following a third-party investigation into what the Provincial Health Services Authority said was a personnel matter.

MacDougall and Fisher were put on paid leave in December pending the outcome of the probe.

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Make Access to Drugs Harder, Say Reform Advocates

The global drug reform discussion is not just about marijuana.

Countries such as Portugal, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, and several Central American nations have or are discussing changing how they deal with illicit drugs. In Portugal, possession of any drug for personal use is legal and Uruguay is expected to soon become the first nation in the world to fully legalize marijuana.

PHC's prescription heroin case goes to Supreme Court

A battle between B.C. doctors and the federal government over the prescription of heroin to severely addicted users is set to enter Supreme Court.

Dosage errors may have tilted clinical heroin trial, B.C. court hears

Participants in a clinical trial fighting to receive prescription heroin may have failed conventional treatments only because they received inadequate dosages, a lawyer for the federal government has told a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

Lorne Lachance made his arguments on Wednesday, the second day of an injunction hearing that will determine whether select participants of the Vancouver-based heroin study will be able to receive a prescription version of the drug while a larger constitutional challenge is before the courts.

Andrea Woo Reports

New seniors advocate brings optimism

Photo: Dan Toulgoet

The executive director of the South Granville Seniors Centre is hopeful the new seniors advocate position announced last week by the provincial government will benefit B.C.’s growing elderly population.

“Support for seniors is getting smaller and smaller,” said Clemencia Gomez. “I hope this seniors advocate will help us get more funding or at least better solutions.”

Exercise is the best medicine, B.C. doctors say

Don’t be surprised if instead of a prescription for pills, your doctor fills one out for exercise. Especially if you’re inactive.

Doctors across B.C. are now taking delivery of new prescription pads to use for their less-active patients as part of a new health promotion program sponsored by Doctors of B.C. (formerly the B.C. Medical Association). The program is called Exercise is Medicine.


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Prescription heroin fight reaches B.C. courts

A local health authority and a legal rights group take their fight to court Tuesday to keep a heroin program alive after the federal government cracked down on doctors prescribing hard drugs.

Providence Health Care and the Pivot Legal Society are pushing for an injunction that would allow the former to maintain its SALOME treatment program that was serving more than 200 people.

Douglas King of Pivot said that since the federal government imposed changes last year, recovering addicts exiting the treatment portion have been unable to continue taking the clinical heroin.

Prescription heroin case going to Supreme Court

A battle between B.C. doctors and the federal government over the prescription of heroin to severely addicted users is set to enter Supreme Court.

Vancouver: Giving junkies a fix to keep them off the street

VANCOUVER, Canada — Walking back alleys in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside, Kevin Thompson, 43, tells stories from roughly two decades of cocaine and heroin addiction.

Drug deals would sometimes go bad, and he was robbed and assaulted. One notable incident involved a fight over a waffle iron that ended with a golf club being broken over his head. “It can be a lot of hassle just to get what you need for the day,” Thompson recalls.

But even trouble-free buys weren’t much of a relief. A high never lasts long enough, he explains.

Canada's health minister fails to explain Ottawa's policies on harm reduction

Providence Health Care enters the B.C. Supreme Court with a request that doctors be allowed to prescribe a special class of patients diacetylmorphine, or pharmaceutical heroin.

Federal health minister Rona Ambrose has strongly opposed the plan to provide heroin-assisted therapy in Vancouver.


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