AMA Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) continues to have concerns about the proposal to drug test welfare recipients. The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019 varies little from the Bill tabled in 2018. Recognising this consistency, the following commentary is consistent with the AMA's earlier submission.
Elements of the proposed trial will increase stigmatisation among the most disadvantaged in the community. There is a widely agreed upon need to increase the capacity of the drug and alcohol treatment sector which is often unable to meet demand. The proposal will increase demand for treatment services in the trial sites, and may result in delays in accessing treatment for those actively seeking it (independent of the trial).