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Minister is either unfairly criticising or is misinformed

IDEA Services says the Associate Health Minister is either unfairly criticising a trusted service provider or is badly misinformed.

The Minister has announced today that Explore will pick up the Autism family education and therapy programmes IDEA Services has operated at a loss for the last three years.

“Firstly, I am pleased that Explore is stepping in to support these families,” says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. “They are an excellent provider and I want to congratulate them on securing the contract. I am particularly pleased that these essential programmes will continue.

“However, the Minister’s suggestion that we have caused unnecessary disruption for families is outrageous, particularly as her office has never contacted IHC for comment.

“We operated this contract at a loss for three years, subsidising it with IHC Charity generated money with pride because it is so important for families.

“We have been discussing the fact that the contract price was too tight for six months with the Ministry and had been asking to see a new contract for three months. When we finally received it two days before it was due to expire there was still no increase and we were left with no option. We advised the Ministry that we would continue to provide the ASD courses throughout April at our own cost to allow a smooth transition to an alternative provider.

“We have had overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants in these programmes and had hundreds on the waiting list – in fact we funded extra workshops ourselves to help families who were waiting.

“We are devastated to have not been able to continue with this contract due to the Ministry’s funding constraints and to be criticised after having propped up this programme with our community raised funds is appalling,” says Ralph Jones.


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