Ottawa, Ontario –  Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, welcomes the decision by Defence Minister the Hon. Peter MacKay to consolidate mental health services to CFB Petawawa.

“I am very pleased that the Minister of Defence responded favourably to my request to provide the necessary healthcare services at CFB Petawawa instead of placing soldiers and their families at an inconvienance by having to travel to Ottawa,” said Cheryl Gallant, MP. “Quality of care is an issue I have been championing on behalf of soldiers for years.”

“The satellite detachment in Ottawa, and all mental health provider positions of that detachment, are being consolidated at CFB Petawawa. All personnel being treated at this facility were Petawawa-based members receiving treatment in Ottawa.  Our government believes CF members are better treated where they work, train and live,” observed MP Gallant.  “This decision will significantly decrease the amount of time soldiers spend away from their families and their units as they will no longer have to travel to Ottawa for their appointments. For those military members in Ottawa, ill and injured personnel are still offered mental health programs at Montfort Hospital.  To be clear, our decisions are based on the interests of those receiving treatment.”

“Our government is committed to ensure that we provide the best possible support for members with mental or physical illness or injuries.  We have created a strong support network and a variety of programs to assist injured members, both regular and reserve. There are 378 full-time mental health professionals working with the Canadian Forces and our government is working to hire more.  As Chair of the Canada NATO Parliamentary Association, I know in fact, when compared to NATO allies, the Canadian Forces has the greatest ratio of mental health care workers to personnel.”

“Our government has invested millions in new technology and infrastructure to better support and care for our troops and has dedicated funds to further enhance these efforts in the years to come.  Through this work, Canada has become a world leader in fighting the stigmatization and raising awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other Operational Stress Injuries,” said Cheryl Gallant, MP.

“Our government has made the decision to ensure that the positions of all front line workers who treat ill and injured personnel are protected.”

“Let me be clear, direct patient care is not being affected in any way by recent efficiency measures. Our government will continue to build on these programs and provide the care that ill and injured personnel deserve,” concluded Cheryl Gallant, MP.

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