Cuts for AIDS Agency in British Columbia as Interior Health Spreads Money to Other Providers
Interior Health has cut 55 percent of funding from its contract with Living Positive Resource Center, which provides AIDS services in Kelowna to more than 200 clients. While LPRC's contract extends through June 30, it has had to eliminate one part-time and three full-time staff positions.
Interior Health since September has made clear that it was searching for another service provider. Last year, the regional authority withdrew $210,000 (US $210,500) of LPRC's $380,000 (US $381,000) grant, channeling it to other Okanagan region providers. LPRC's office in Kelowna is relatively far away from south Okanagan, making it best suited to serve the central region, said Rob Parker, Interior Health's spokesperson.
Part of the diverted funds will be used to provide services for about 15 HIV and hepatitis C patients in the south through health centers in Penticton and other communities. Public health nurses will make the referrals.
"We certainly hope there won't be anyone who falls through the cracks with this transition," said Beryl Itani, chair of LPRC's board of directors. "Hopefully everyone who was served by Interior Health and Living Positive continues to get the service they're used to."