An MLA claims B.C.’s Ministry for Children and Family Development is telling health workers to hold off treating youth in care with mental health issues.
Former social worker and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons says the doctor is required to refer the family and the young person to a drop-in later in the week, which Simons says could be up to seven days later.
He says the biggest problem is valuable time lost between when a young person is brought in for help, and when they finally get it.
“I think it’s just a terrible practice. It goes against everything social workers and mental health practitioners and anyone who understands children would believe is the right way to deal with those mental health crises.”
Simons says he was told of the alleged MCFD directive from health workers he knows in several rural hospitals.
But MCFD minister Stephanie Cadieux told reporters she’s blaming miscommunication at the hospital for that directive, saying there’s no change in policy.
“There’s absolutely no reduction in services, but it does appear that there’s a change in how things are being delivered and it would appear not everybody is happy with that change. I’ve asked my staff to go back [and] work with the health authority.”
Cadieux says as far as she’s aware this has occured in just one rural hospital, Simons says he’s heard of it happening at more