AMA calls for hospitals and health services to be properly resourced to deal with 'ice' patients
The AMA has released its updated Position Statement on Methamphetamine (2015) which makes a number of recommendations to reduce the increased use of methamphetamine (‘ice’) in Australia. These include improved resources – incorporating security – at hospitals and health services that deal with patients affected by ‘ice’.
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said that doctors are seeing a significant increase in the severity of the health conditions associated with methamphetamine use, and emphasised the importance of making sure that doctors and other healthcare workers are well supported to engage with methamphetamine users, many of whom may be reluctant to disclose their use.
Recommendations of the updated Position Statement include:
- education and training opportunities for all medical practitioners, as well as inclusion in the medical curricula
- appropriate security arrangements in all hospitals
- quiet areas within emergency departments might be used to help settle and treat patients,
- health financing systems to include specific funding for methamphetamine treatment, rehabilitation, and support, and
- the need for generic life skills programs to reduce the health and social consequences.
The AMA has established a Methamphetamine Working Group, with expert members from across the medical profession, to provide ongoing policy direction for the AMA.