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.

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 10+ recent articles for this business
RACP raises grave concerns for refugee children on Nauru 11 October 2018 | The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has raised grave concerns for the wellbeing of refugee and asylum seeker children held on Nauru after Medecins Sans Frontier (Doctors Without Borders) was forced... More information...
Call for regulators to address public health crisis in the artificial stone benchtop industry 10 October 2018 | The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) are today calling for urgent action by regulators to address a public health crisis impacting... More information...
RACP backs the Kids Off Nauru campaign 27 September 2018 | The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has signed on to the Kids Off Nauru campaign, urging the Australian Parliament to act on their duty of care and immediately transfer all refugee and asylum... More information...
Calls for Australian Government to end its policy of offshore processing 28 August 2018 | Doctors from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians reiterate their appeal to the Australian Government to end its policies of offshore processing immediately. More information...
Physicians welcome My Health Record system 27 July 2018 | The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcomes the rollout of the My Health Record (My HR) system, which will result in safer and more effective healthcare. More information...
Experts call for ban on 'Real Bodies - The Exhibition' 11 July 2018 | Medical specialists at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) are calling for an exhibition featuring 200 human organs and 20 preserved bodies to be banned on ethical grounds. More information...
Make pregnancy health warning labels mandatory for alcohol products 04 July 2018 | Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to birth defects and lifelong neurodevelopmental problems associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD)," said Professor Paul Colditz, President of Paediatrics... More information...
We need action on sugar not promises: doctors 03 July 2018 | Doctors from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) welcome reports that the Australian Beverages Council is committed to reducing sugar but want the industry and the Australian Government to outline... More information...
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...

comments powered by Disqus

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