The sharp end of healthcare

THE only place in NSW where you can inject heroin under medical supervision no longer has to worry about being closed down. Or at least it looks that way. But there is one condition – that it remains the only place in NSW. 

That critical detail may be the clearest indication that the issue of injecting centres has become more political than medical. 

Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in Kings Cross has been around for 10 years and has been operating on a trial basis under a cloud of controversy. The pilot phase has been regularly renewed at four-year intervals, but there was always a chance the state would axe it. 

MSIC medical director Dr Marianne Jauncey worries it still might: “That’s what parliament does. It passes legislation, but it can always take it away.” 

The legislation in question, the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment (Medically Supervised Injecting