Trondheim: Life-Threatening Cuts in Healthcare

Image: Town Hall in Trondheim Municipality

[The original text was published on the 9th of november and there has been a protest against the de facto cuts in december. – Translators.]

Adressavisen in Trondheim writes that the municipality will dissolve a crisis service for the city’s drug addicts. This is the result of the state cutting support for addiction and psychiatric care. We live in a time where the masses’ welfare is under attack, especially when it comes to the poorest.

The healthcare service Utsikten gives people who have drug issues and who have acute problems, the opportunity for residence for a short period of 14 days. There, they can live a normal life in a one-bedroom apartment in a rural environment. The newspaper has interviewed Per-Morten Ydstie, who says that he applies for residences when he feels that things are beginning to “slide out of control” and that the service prevents him from suffering from a break.

Those that the newspaper has spoken with report a fear of death as a result of the municipality’s plans to make cuts to the service. They believe that it will be a matter of life and death if the municipality cuts support to Utsikten. They speak of small margins, and that in this circumstance, they will, for instance, be sent to the hospital when they are at the cusp of a catastrophe. One resident says that he gained 9 kilograms during a 14-day stay, which speaks to some of the seriousness of the loss of the service.

The employees in the Healthcare and Overdose team in Trondheim and Utsikten have all requested that the municipality stop the cancellation of the service. They say that drug addicts would have demonstrated in marches if it were not for the Corona situation. They report that ten people died from overdose in Trondheim last year, and they fer that the number will rise if Utsikten is closed down.

The municipality wishes to cancel the service in order to save 3.1 million kroner (roughly 350,000 USD) in 2021. They claim that they are making these cuts because they have received between 5 and 6 million kroner (between 550,000 and 700,000 USD) less in state-sponsored support for addiction and psychiatric care. This shows both the municipality’s priorities and the state’s welfare cuts. The cuts will in other words affect those people who are already on the edge of a complete breakdown. This says everything about capitalism’s character, and the development that we are facing in today’s crisis.