“We Should Reopen It.” BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins on the Closed BC Adult ADHD Clinic

UPDATE #2: Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith did an article about the reopening of the BC adult ADHD clinic me and the BC politicians.

UPDATE: BC Greens Party Leader Jane Sterk also supports reopening the BC adult ADHD clinic she told me in a phone conversation. I’ll do a separate post on it soon. BC Greens Vancouver-Mount Pleasant candidate Barinder Hans also mentioned the BC adult ADHD clinic at the Vote mental health 4all all candidates forum May 7th.

Also BC Conservative candidate Duane Nickull had some great things to say about the BC adult ADHD clinic. I’ll do a post on the great forum too. He later did a great blog post on it too you should check out, he’s been very supportive of adults with ADHD.

So thanks to Bruce Claggett I found out about a News1130AM twitter chat Thursday night with BC Conservative party leader John Cummins. So, being the curious ADDer, I asked John


— Pete Quily (@pqpolitics) May 3, 2013

And he answered

Thanks John Cummins for committing the BC Conservative Party to support reopening the BC Adult ADHD clinic. I and the 8-10% of children and 5% of adults with ADHD in BC along with their families appreciate your leadership.

And BC Conservative candidate in Vancouver Quilchena Bill Clark also support re opening the BC adult ADHD clinic



6 Years ago in 2007, the BC Liberal government under then health minister George Abbott shut down the only provincial adult ADHD clinic in BC at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after a 12-14 month long wait list for an entire year.

Possibly politically embarrassing wait list? BC Liberals solution? Kill the clinic. No more wait list.

I asked then NDP health critic Adrian Dix’s (now BC NDP leader) office if Adrian Dix would do something about it, went back and forth by email and phone but just got a lot of empty promises and nothing in the end.

Despite some of the media stigma, if you look at the actual research, 90% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed. Dr Russell Barkley, Monitor on Psychology, March 2012, page 70.

As an adult ADHD coach who leads the Vancouver Adult ADD Support group, I get numerous complaints, people saying my doctor / psychiatrist / psychologist doesn’t know ADHD enough to diagnose it and doesn’t know who does. Do you know anyone in the Vancouver area who does?

I’ve sent out thousands. Plural. Thousand of emails with names of medical professional in the lower mainland who are known to diagnose and treat ADHD in adults and children. I wouldn’t have to do that for people who can diagnose depression.

Why won’t the BC government train medical professionals on ADHD like The BCMA ADHD policy paper “Your Attention Please – Improving Access for ADHD Patients” calls for?

In May 2011, I asked Christy Clark during her by election campaign at her town hall meeting if she would re open the BC adult ADHD clinic. She said

“I don’t have enough information about the specifics of the program that you’re talking about, but I’m absolutely committed to working with you on it.”

And then Christy Clark did? Absolutely Nothing.

I’ve asked Adrian Dix and other BC NDP candidates on twitter during the BC May 2013 provincial election if they’d reopen the BC adult ADHD clinic. Got no response.

Despite all their rhetoric, remember, the BC NDP was the party that emptied the mental health hospitals in the 1970’s, then pretended they’d integrate them into the community.

But instead, the BC NDP abandoned them to the predators of Vancouver’s downtown east side & boosted BC’s homelessness population.

Maybe I need to make a big donation to the BC NDP or the BC liberals to get their attention, but I don’t have a big union or big business budget and can’t afford to hire expensive lobbyists to rent access to BC NDP or BC Liberal politicians.

The BC adult ADHD clinic should be re opened but at an adult hospital in Vancouver, not at children’s hospital where it will ALWAYS be subject to budget cuts/shut down.

There are many reasons why BC politicians should follow John Cummins’s lead and support reopening the BC adult ADHD clinic.

If you’re a real vs a fake fiscal conservative, you should read the Economic costs of ADHD by BC’s Dr. Margaret Weiss who used to run the BC adult (& children’s) ADHD clinic.

There are higher rates of driving problems in adults and teens with ADHD.

Those rates go down if they’re treated with medication. But you can’t get someone treated with ADHD if you don’t get them diagnosed.

Compared to age matched peer controls, research shows that ADHD adults are

  • Two to four times more likely to have been in a car crash
  • Two to four times more likely to have been in a multiple car crashes throughout driving histories
  • Involved in significantly worse car crashes as indexed by dollar amount of damage and the likelihood of bodily injuries
  • Two to three times more likely to receive speeding citations
  • Two to four times more likely to have their drivers licences suspended or revoked

From Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults. The Latest Assessement and treatment strategies. Dr Russell Barkley p 9. See some of Dr Russell Barkley’s clinical research on ADHD and driving on the US National Library of Medicine.

Also see What We Know About ADHD and Driving Risk: A Literature Review, Meta-Analysis and Critique

And teens and young adults with ADHD have even worse rates.

Many BC medical professionals have little to no training on ADHD many have told me. Even now UBC medical students in ADHD backwards BC only get one hour of training on ADHD. Totally inadequate on one of the most comorbid condition around.

Do you live outside the lower mainland and have ADHD? God help you. The BC medical system likely won’t.

Why is the BC government continually violating the Canada Health Act? See the Accessibility section.  Will some adult with ADHD have to sue them to make them do the right thing?

Women with ADHD had higher rates of Anorexia and Bulimia, and panic disorder

Pavco & Paragon Gambling suspicious BC Liberals 99 year deal? see Young Adult Gambling Behaviors and their Relationship with the Persistence of ADHD

Special Problems in Gambling: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Pathways to Problem Gambling

Seems like both the BC Biberals and the BC NDP would rather have ADHD teens and adults self medicate with gambling then diagnose and treat them.

20-30% of addicts and alcoholics have ADHD numerous clinical studies have shown

21-45% of prisoners in Jail have ADHD 15 clinical studies have shown.

ADHD can be a competitive edge if managed properly, 3 billionaires have gone public with having ADHD,  many entrepreneurs have ADHD.

I’d rather have more taxbase contributing entrepreneurs with ADHD creating jobs in BC than undiagnosed and untreated addicts and criminal entrepreneurs with ADHD who are self medicating with drugs and violence and depleting the tax base.

But I guess the BC Liberals and the BC NDP prefer the latter. Or at least they’re not willing to do anything to change it.

If you want change, please ask your local BC MLA candidates if they’d support reopening the BC adult ADHD clinic at an adult hospital (it would be vulnerable to closure again at a childrens hospital) find a list of BC MLA candidate’s here.

If they do or if the refuse to, please let me know in the comment section below.

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