03/13/2012 05:33 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia hospital cuts 22 jobs in its mental health and addictions programs

HALIFAX - A Halifax hospital has cut 22 of 83 jobs for youth care workers in its mental health and addictions programs.

The IWK Health Centre eliminated the positions with the promise that wait times for mental health patients at the Adolescent Centre for Treatment and Compass, a treatment centre for young children, will continue to improve.

In a news release the hospital said the waiting list has dropped since November from 1,100 youth who had not had a first appointment, to less than 70.

But the head of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union says she doesn’t understand how mental health care will be improved with the loss of the jobs.

Joan Jessome says it appears the treatment centres are becoming five-day-a-week operations instead of seven.

A spokesperson for the IWK couldn’t be reached to explain how the job cuts will improve wait times.

(Halifax Chronicle Herald)