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FNHA expands access to Opioid Agonist Treatment services for BC First Nations

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First Nations people in BC can now choose to receive Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) at both public and private clinics – at no cost.

When OAT services are provided by a public clinic, the cost of the treatment is covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP). OAT services that are provided through private clinics, however, typically charge a monthly fee for their programs. These fees are not covered by MSP and must be paid by the client.

As of February 1, FNHA began reimbursing OAT clinic fees to private clinics serving First Nations clients. Reimbursement of OAT clinic fees up to a maximum of $70/month per client will be provided until March 31st, 2020. Service providers complete a subsidy application form with First Nations clients and submit the paperwork to FNHA. Clients must have First Nations status to be eligible.

Opioid Agonist Therapy is an effective treatment for dependency on different types of opioids such as heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl. The therapy involves taking the medications Methadone or Suboxone. These medications can prevent the effects of withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioids. OAT services are prescribed by a doctor and can be accessed through residential or outpatient treatment programs.

Learn more about OAT clinic fees and read FNHA's Frequently Asked Questions Sheet here: http://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/mental-wellness-and-substance-use/opioid-agonist-therapy

Find out which OAT clinics are accepting new patients here: http://www.bccsu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/OAT-Clinics-Accepting-New-Patients.pdf

If you have questions about this initiative please contact Rishi Chatterjee, Project Manager at rishi.chatterjee@fnha.ca, 604-693-6641.

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