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Community in crisis spurs local delegation at conference

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According to DNSSAB CAO Joe Bradbury, there is a significant gap in health equity in our district and in all of Northern Ontario.

A delegation of six representing the 11 member municipalities of the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board will seek funding to address what they have termed a “community crisis,” when they meet with the Minister of Health at the ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipal Association) in Toronto today.

See related story: Current status of mental health services is ‘unacceptable’ says DNSSAB chair

The delegation will meet with Ministers from Community and Social Services, Housing, Poverty Reduction, as well as the Attorney General over the course of the conference that ends Tuesday.

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Some troubling stats when comparing local hospital visits to the rest of the province: emergency room visits for alcohol abuse are 20 per cent higher and substance abuse 30 per cent higher in North Bay than the provincial average, and opioid abuse cases presented at the emergency department are twice the average locally than in Ontario.

Additionally, North Bay Emergency Room visits for chronic personality disorders and other mental health disorders occur far more regularly than in the rest of the province.

To exacerbate matters, some 30 per cent of Nipissing District residents do not have a family doctor and a larger percentage of our citizens do not have timely access to one, as compared to Southern Ontario.

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