Gerry Rogers Question Period (05.10.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, addicts and their families are crying out for help as the drug addiction crisis in the Province grows. People do not set out to become addicted. Were this another type of sickness, government would scramble to find the resources. Mr. Speaker, to not deal with this properly results in increased suffering, lost lives, and increased crime.

I ask the Minister of Health and Community Services: What is she doing to quickly and comprehensively deal with this growing crisis?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SULLIVAN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we also understand that addictions are a serious problem. We understand that and we also are working. In fact, to the tune of $29 million over the last two years we have been working to address situations with regard to addictions in this Province, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I have outlined in this House, and I am willing outline time and time again until they understand on the other side of the House, that there are a number of options that are available for persons in this Province who have addictions-related issues. It is not simply to talk about methadone. That is one option. There are a number of options that we can put forward, Mr. Speaker, and if I get a second question I will certainly put those forward.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John’s Centre.

MS ROGERS: Mr. Speaker, health professionals tell me that people with addictions need wraparound services that include real assessment, medical detox, and ongoing counselling in a timely manner in order to successfully beat their addictions. Wait lists in this Province for treatments are growing. Making them wait for months does not work.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Minister of Health and Community Services: These are your experts; why aren’t you listening to them and giving them the resources they need to do their job properly?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Health and Community Services with a quick response.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, first of all I take exception to the fact that I am not listening to people out there. I am listening on a daily basis.

Mr. Speaker, we have a Mental Health and Addictions ministerial advisory committee that I very much value in the department, and I listen to them on a regular basis in this department.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MS SULLIVAN: Mr. Speaker, in terms of what we are doing as a result of listening to these people who are advising us in the department, let me go through the list. There is a recovery centre in St. John’s, Mr. Speaker.

Associated Caucus Members: 

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