By Kevin Woodhouse
The Liberal government, following through on its intention to trim the province’s ever growing deficit, will be reducing its health and social services portfolio and the West Montreal Readaptation Centre (CROM) will feel the effects.
CROM’s budget from the government will be trimmed by $1.2 million. The Suburban reported on the non-profit organization in May when it made a plea for more funding in order to accommodate a waiting list of 660 children waiting for services or testing. At one point, the list had peaked at over 700 children and adults who register on the autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The agency noted that early intervention can make a world of difference for a family later on.
Former CROM employee Donny Prashker, needed to quit working for the public agency in order to cover the more than $600 weekly expenses required for private specialists for his daughter who has ASD.
“I took a leave of absence and started my own business to cover the costs of private care,” Prashker told The Suburban. “Currently, my daughter is seeing four different specialists. My wife and I are the liaison. I know the difference that CROM’s care can make; they offer a multidisciplinary team working towards the best care of my daughter.”
The West Montreal Readaptation Centre will focus on certain cost cutting measures such as working more with community partners as well as offering a paying service for patients from other areas of the province.
In a release to staff, parents and volunteers, the board of CROM noted that it would continue to strive for more funding and lowering the waiting list through lobbying “the Montreal Health Agency, the Health Ministry and politicians of all parties for a more equitable distribution of funding among rehab centres on the Island.
“Despite severe underfunding for some time, and in spite of our record of providing top quality care at a low cost per client, the Quebec government has reduced our operating budget by $1.2 million this fiscal year, and is indicating that further funding cuts are in the works,” noted the board of CROM’s release.
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