An Open Letter to the Victorian Parliament, published in the Herald Sun today (see link below), contains 48 signatories from key sectors of the Victorian community for a trial of a Medically Supervised Injection Facility in North Richmond.
Signatories include the Salvation Army, Anglicare, Ambulance Employees Australia, Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, other medical experts, Victorian Trades Hall Council, Yarra City Council, nurses, youth and health services, and leading drug agencies.
This demonstrates there is wide support for a Medically Supervised Injection Facility*.
DANA said the Open Letter calls on the Parliament of Victoria to support the trial – or more lives will be lost.
Read the open letter, Start Saving Lives.
* There are approximately 90 Supervised Injecting Facilities (SIF) globally and there is consensus among the experts on the marked achievements of SIF’s in reducing harms among highly vulnerable cohorts. In 2001, the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Sydney opened; evaluations of the Sydney MSIC have found that up to May 2015 it had:
- Successfully managed more than 6,089 drug overdoses without a single fatality
- Reduced the number of publicly discarded needles and syringes in the Kings Cross area by approximately half
- Decreased the number of ambulance call outs to Kings Cross by 80%
- Generated more than 12,000 referrals to health and social welfare services
Additional support for the North Richmond MSIC has come from the Coroner, Jacqui Hawkins. You can read in full the reason for her support at these two links.
However information has come to hand this morning suggesting that Martin Foley, Victorian Minister for Health has advised that the facility will not be approved. Read the story from The Guardian here.