Island Sexual Health Clinic may shut its doors

Non-profit society provides education, clinical testing for thousands of Greater Victoria residents every day

The executive director of Island Sexual Health says a perfect storm of funding cuts and a lack of family doctors in Greater Victoria is putting more pressure on the non-profit agency. So much pressure, in fact, that the future of the program is now uncertain.

Bobbi Turner says ISH saw a 12 per cent increase in the number of patients in the last 12 months compared to April 2012 to March 2013, for a variety of services.

“A poll conducted over this past year indicates over 50 per cent of clients cannot locate a physician in Greater Victoria,” reads a release from ISH. “Many of our clients think that our services are fully funded by the healthcare system, but that is not the case. While we work on the fee for service model, it is not enough to cover the programs we offer.”

ISH offers comprehensive sexual health services, including PAP examinations, sexually transmitted infection testing and outreach education through schools.

Turner says that while funding comes from a variety of sources, it isn’t enough to cover the ISH services plus overhead. She says the society is facing a “significant budget deficit that leaves the future of ISH’s clinic services up in the air.”

The society is seeking financial support to keep their health and education programs operating. To make a donation call Turner at 250-592-3479 or visit islandsexualhealth.org. Island Sexual Health is located at 101-3960 Quadra St. in Saanich.

editor@saanichnews.com

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