Plans to drug test welfare recipients rejected

Published: Comments:
Australian Government Health & Wellness Law & Safety Political

This is an archived copy of an article. It is online for informational purposes only.
Social:   

Doctors and addiction experts welcome the news that the Federal Government will no longer proceed with its plan to randomly drug testing 5,000 social welfare recipients as part of its Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017.

A/Prof Adrian Reynolds, President of the RACP's Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine, said the measure would have subjected a vulnerable population to an ineffective, expensive and harmful drug testing regime.

"A drug testing pilot would have delivered an ineffective, expensive and harmful regime that would have hindered, not helped Australians struggling with addiction," said A/Prof Adrian Reynolds.

"Initially, the trial would have impacted around 5,000 social welfare recipients. If implemented more broadly, many more people would have been affected.

"The reality is, well over 200,000 people with drug and alcohol addiction problems can't access treatment and more services are urgently needed. Drug testing 5,000 welfare recipients would not have solved this problem.

"The Government's own data shows that more than 16,000 welfare recipients are telling Centrelink there are times when they can't meet their welfare activity requirements because of their alcohol and drug addiction. We believe that the Government's focus should be on helping these people and we need to support the treatment sector.

 "We would like to thank members of Parliament for listening to experts in the medical and social services community who made robust and evidence-based cases for the drug testing trial to not proceed.

 "The RACP is keen to work with government and other key stakeholders in the drug and alcohol and wider health sector, to develop effective and evidence-based policies to address this serious health and social issue.

"We will continue to advocate for greater investment in drug and alcohol services, to improve access to these services and ensure we have a suitably-trained multidisciplinary clinical workforce, across Australia."

Read the RACP's submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee's inquiry into Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

 
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) :
145 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Wide
02 9256 5444
1300 69 7227
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
Showing 6 recent articles for this business
Paediatricians launch position paper to address inequities in child health 14 May 2018 | Doctors are urging decision-makers to take sustained action to connect Australia's children in adversity with specialist medical care and social and education services. More information...
Creating sustainable healthcare for the future 14 May 2018 | If we're going to make big changes to how hospitals are run and how patients access services, considering the predicted changes in climate, there needs to be major changes in the way healthcare is delivered. ... More information...
Drug testing trial will hurt, not help Australians on welfare 23 April 2018 | Addiction medicine specialists have criticised the Turnbull Government's proposal to drug test up to 5,000 new welfare recipients. More information...
Doctors warn against unnecessary CT scans in children presenting with new onset seizures 16 April 2018 | New medical advice is recommending doctors avoid Computed Tomography (CT) scans when evaluating children and adolescents who present with their first seizure. More information...
Specialists push for investment to improve the health of Australian children 12 February 2018 | Access to child health care should be fair for all Australian children and funding for disadvantaged groups must be prioritised in the 2018-19 Federal Budget, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)... More information...
Plans to drug test welfare recipients rejected 07 December 2017 | Doctors and addiction experts welcome the news that the Federal Government will no longer proceed with its plan to randomly drug testing 5,000 social welfare recipients as part of its Social Services Legislation... More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service