Addiction physicians: Canada is “hemorrhaging healthcare dollars”

published on October 20, 2016 by Kyle Duggan in iPOLITICS

The healthcare system is a “deer in the headlights” when it comes to addictions treatment

Physicians specializing in addictions treatment told the Commons Heath Committee Thursday that a lack of addictions funding, comprehensive treatment programs and healthcare addiction training in Canada means that current patient needs aren’t being met.

Dr. Evan Wood, medical director of addiction services at Vancouver Coastal Health and professor of medicine at UBC, told MPs that many primary care providers often don’t know what to do when it comes to addiction medicine and treatment.

“The healthcare system is a deer in the headlights,” he said. “It does not know what to do.”

He said there’s a strong need to train healthcare providers in addiction treatment and develop evidence-based guidelines and standards “” which could result in money saved in the long run.

“We need a primary-care-based strategy to train physicians,” he said. “The Canadian taxpayer is hemorrhaging money to send ambulances, to send police, to treat infections, to treat lung disease, liver disease “¦ all of the things that go along with untreated addictions.”

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