CPSU statement: Blood borne virus strategy for AMC
15 August 2012, 10:56am
The CPSU is currently examining the ACT Government's new strategy for management of blood borne virus in ACT prisons which was announced today.
CPSU Regional Secretary Vince McDevitt said "We received the Government's new strategy this morning and we are looking at it closely.
"Like others in the community CPSU members recognise the serious health issues around blood borne virus transmission.
"But our members also have legitimate concerns about risks a needle exchange program may have for themselves and for the prisoners they are responsible for.
"These health and safety concerns were not adequately addressed in previous proposals from Government.
"However we welcome the opportunity to participate in the consultative process around this complex issue.
"It is important to note that the Government is not proposing a full needle and syringe exchange program, but wants to trial a 'one-for-one' medical model which would see doctors, not politicians, as the decision makers.
"We are keen to find out more about this approach and will work with the relevant Government agencies to examine the full implications for prison staff, inmates and the broader community.
"While the CPSU has an open mind on these new proposals, we also have an obligation to ensure that any new measures address our members' long-standing and well-documented health and safety concerns around a needle exchange program.
"As we go through the process of properly examining the new strategy paper and seeking relevant information from Government, we will also be talking with our members to discuss the report," said Mr McDevitt.
Vince McDevitt ACT Regional Director Ph: 0408 864 629