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Uniting welcomes Australia’s second Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

2 July 2018

Uniting, operator of the first Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in the Southern Hemisphere, has congratulated the Victorian Government on the opening of Australia’s second centre this week in Melbourne.

Uniting Executive Director NSW.ACT Tracey Burton, together with the Medical Director of the Sydney MSIC, Dr Marianne Jauncey have issued a congratulatory message on the opening of Australia’s second centre.

“The new Medically Supervised Injecting Centre within the North Richmond Community Health Centre will save lives,” Mrs Burton said.

“It will support some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in the community, improve public health, and reduce risks to individuals and the wider community.

“Uniting has operated the country’s only Medically Supervised Injecting Centre for 17 years and in this time there have been more than 8,000 overdoses, but not a single death, and more than 13,000 referrals into treatment and care.

“We congratulate not only the North Richmond Community Health Centre responsible for the operation of this centre, but also the people of Richmond who will reap the rewards through the broader benefits it provides the local community, both residents and businesses alike.”

Medical Director of the Sydney MSIC, Dr Marianne Jauncey stated: “We join with the North Richmond community to celebrate this well-won reward for their advocacy for this service to be established in their community. It is a compassionate and pragmatic approach to the high incidence of public injecting and overdose deaths that became far too common in their streets.”

“This is a not only a win for evidence-based health policy, it is an important and practical response to a challenging issue in communities around the world.

“We know from the past 17 years that this type of health service has multiple benefits for residents, potential clients and the broader community. From our experience in Sydney, we know this centre will reduce public injections as well as ambulance callouts to overdoses, and the number of needles discarded on the streets.

“We look forward to working with our sister centre and supporting them in any way we can as they support those in the community who struggle with drug use and drug addiction,” Dr Jauncey added.

ENDS

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Uniting: Lee Webster
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