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While health authorities continue to eliminate services, film highlights value of music therapy

On the heels of yet another reorganization that means the loss of music therapy services for BC patients, the Music Therapy Association of BC will highlight the value of music therapy with the screening of the documentary, The Gift of Music: Stories of Music Therapy this week at the Vancity Theatre in Vancouver.

This month, through a reorganization of therapeutic services, Lions Gate Hospitals Evergreen House music therapy program was eliminated.

As health care and other public services continue to suffer, Liberal government focuses on tax breaks, says HSA president Reid Johnson of todays budget release

HSA President Reid Johnson, in Victoria today for the unveiling of the 2012 provincial budget, said the Liberal government ‘s budget plan has failed to address the needs of British Columbians.

-Instead of trying to kick-start the provinces economy with tax credits for a few wealthy first-time homebuyers and promises of less red tape for business, the BC government should have used Budget Day 2012 to come up with real solutions to growing challenges British Columbians face in their everyday lives," Johnson said.

Copeman Clinic: Health Coalition questions Medical Services Commissions ability to protect patients from illegal user charges

FOI reveals that auditors failed to verify Copemans claims that there was no preferential treatment at its member-only primary care clinic.

The BC Health Coalition is calling for an inquiry into the provincial governments ability to ensure that patients get fair access to physician services after it was discovered the Medical Services Commission (MSC) did not perform a test of access during its 2007 audit of Vancouvers Copeman Healthcare Centre.

Royal Inland Hospital: sudden, radical cut to x-ray services will ultimately cost Kamloops

NEWS RELEASE: Yesterday, Royal Inland Hospital announced a radical cut in outpatient x-ray services, with no consultation with the community.

The hospitals x-ray technologists are raising the alarm that Royal Inland Hospital is putting patient services at risk.

-Royal Inland announced yesterday that starting Sunday, patients should no longer come to the hospital for routine outpatient x-rays," said Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association.

New B.C. health minister off base on for-profit care

Advocates working to protect B.C.s universal public health care system are troubled by recent statements made by newly-appointed health minister Mike de Jong, hinting at a bigger role for the
private sector in health care delivery.

Speaking to media during his first day on the job, de Jong argued that patients do not care who owns the health care facility or employs the workers when they receive care.

Government's refusal to address shortages of health science professionals leads to supply crisis for Interior Health Authority

BCs Interior Health Authority is paying thousands of dollars in additional costs to recruit ultrasound technologists from private, for-profit clinics to work in IHA hospitals because the government has refused to address a critical shortage of ultrasound technologists in BC, Reid Johnson, President of the Health Sciences Association of BC said today.

-The governments failure to have an effective recruitment and retention strategy has resulted in a crisis that IHA is now scrambling to find a fix for."

VIHA fails to protect health care staff; WorkSafeBC to issue fines

WorkSafeBC has issued nine separate orders at two Victoria-area mental health facilities criticizing the failure of Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) to protect the safety of staff.

-This is a staggering number of WorkSafeBC orders issued against one employer," said HSA President Reid Johnson.

Johnson, who has worked on psychiatric wards as a social worker, said unstable psychiatric patients are often unable to restrain their violent behavior. Hospital management, he said, has to take responsibility for patient as well as staff safety.

HSA urges VGH not to dismantle domestic violence program

Less than a week after a sudden announcement to emergency room staff, Vancouver General Hospital has already begun dismantling a much-needed Domestic Violence Program that has been serving the community for 18 years.

The outpatient Domestic Violence Program serves 20-25 clients per week, providing counselling for patients experiencing violent relationships. The program also provides support, education and referrals for child protection and safety planning.

Defending public health care the focus for health science professionals union

Members of the Health Sciences Association, the health care union that represents health sciences professionals who deliver diagnosis, treatment and recovery in BCs hospitals and communities, is meeting this weekend at its 39th annual convention in Vancouver.

BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair told delegates Friday that it is important to fight for public health care, because the private interests that want to make money off of health care are threatening access to quality care to everybody who needs it.