Community health centres still eye supervised injection after Sandy Hill approval – Ottawa

Two Ottawa community health centres are awaiting funding and approval to offer supervised injection, and another two say they’re still interested in applying to do so, after Health Canada approved a site in Sandy Hill earlier this month.

Ottawa Inner City Health (operated by Shepherds of Good Hope) formally applied to Health Canada in February to offer supervised injection, and the Somerset West Community Health Centre formally applied in June.

Both are awaiting provincial funding and are currently ironing out administrative details with Health Canada, representatives say.

The Carlington Community Health Centre and Centretown Community Health Centre, meanwhile, say they’re still considering making formal applications of their own.

Health Canada has granted an exemption that paves the way for Ottawa’s first supervised injection site to open at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre as early as October. (CBC)

Renovations put hold on idea in Centretown, Carlington

Starting this winter, the Centretown Community Health Centre on Cooper Street will undergo extensive renovations for more than a year, so until that’s wrapped up they’ll be watching to see how things go in Sandy Hill and thinking about how it might work for their centre, according to executive director Simone Thibault.

“We’re not going to introduce any new services during that time because it will be quite chaotic for both the community and the staff, so in the meantime we’re exploring how do we keep supporting our partners with their applications, and what could it look like for us in the longer term,” Thibault said.

“We also have time to look at what’s working well and what’s not working well when they implement supervised injection services.”

It’s a similar story at the Carlington Community Health Centre.

“At this time, Carlington CHC has an ongoing capital project including a substantial expansion and renovation to our centre, however we see a supervised injection site as part of the centre’s future,” wrote executive director Cameron MacLeod in an emailed statement.

“When the time comes to submit an application for a supervised injection Site, we will continue to be committed to community consultation as part of the process, as was done by Sandy Hill and Somerset West CHCs. We look to learn from the sites, and will work with our partners at Sandy Hill CHC and Somerset West CHC to adopt best practices.”

‘A great move forward’

The health centres say they’re…

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