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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (12 April) . .

Page.. 1416..


Health—methadone overdose statistics (Question No 885)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, upon notice, on 16 February 2018:

(1) How many people in the ACT died as a result of a methadone overdose, whether on the ACT methadone program or not for each year from 2010 to 2017.

(2) For each year from 2010 to 2017, (a) how many deaths due to methadone overdose were the subject of coronial inquests, (b) what coronial recommendations were made, (c) which recommendations did the Government implement, (d) when were they implemented and (e) for any recommendations the Government did not implement, why not.

(3) For each year from 2010 to 2017, (a) how many people died from methadone overdose who were on the ACT methadone program, (b) how many clinical reviews did ACT Health undertake of deaths of people in the ACT methadone program, (c) what general policy recommendations were made in those clinical reviews, (d) which recommendations did the Government implement, (e) when were the recommendations implemented and (f) for any recommendations the Government did not implement, why not.

Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

1. As far as ACT Health is aware, there has been one person who has died as a result of a methadone overdose between 2010 and 2017. This person was on the ACT methadone program.

In the ACT, in accordance with the Coroners Act 1997, it is the Coroner who determines if the death is a result of methadone overdose. ACT Health does not collect this data.

The National Coronial Information System is a national database and is the primary data source for all deaths, including causes, in the ACT. It contains data regarding deaths reported to an Australian coroner from July 2000, and from a New Zealand coroner from July 2007. The database is an initiative of the Australian Coroners Society.

The database includes deaths of people both receiving care from ACT Government health services and those not receiving care from ACT Government health services at the time of their death.

2. To the best of ACT Health's knowledge:

a. One death due to methadone overdose has been subject to a Coronial Inquest;

b. The Coronial Inquest is still ongoing and has not yet been finalised;

c. To date, the Coroner has not made any recommendations;

d. To date, the Coroner has not made any recommendations; and

e. To date, the Coroner has not made any recommendations.

3. As far as ACT Health has been advised by the ACT Coroner.

a. One person who died from methadone overdose was on the ACT methadone program administered by ACT Health.


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