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Wellbeing at HR23

Medical and Harm Reduction Facilities

Harm Reduction International is dedicated to promoting comprehensive and responsive health services and policies around the world. To this end, Harm Reduction International is committed to ensuring our event provides and facilitates appropriate care for all delegates who may have special healthcare needs, especially those people who use or have used drugs, or who are living with HIV, viral hepatitis or TB. In order to do this, we appoint a Medical Committee for each conference, consisting of local and international healthcare professionals and representatives of organisations of people who use drugs.

Information for All Delegates

All conference delegates should arrange their own health and travel insurance in advance of their trip to Australia and should ensure that they carry it with them whilst at the conference.

All conference delegates who are undergoing any kind of medical treatment should bring their own medication in sufficient quantities to cover their treatment for the duration of their stay in Australia.

All conference delegates (undergoing any kind of medical treatment) are advised to bring a medical record from their doctor (written in English) specifying their condition and the treatment they are receiving. This will make things easier in the event of unexpected circumstances, such as medication being mislaid or the need for urgent medical care.

Such a letter from your doctor and, if possible, a copy of the prescription in your name, will also verify your authorisation for these medications (should you be asked) upon arrival at the airport.

When Carrying Medication Abroad

  • You are advised to carry your medication in your hand luggage in non-breakable containers and if, in liquid form, with no more than 100ml in each
  • Please ensure you have a signed copy of your prescription and a doctor’s letter outlining your need for treatment (as above). We can provide a letter template for your doctor/clinic if required
  • Please keep your medication in its original packaging with labels left intact and name clearly defined

Services Available at the Conference

  • OAT (Opioid Agonist Therapy) where this has been prearranged and only for those who are unable to export substitute medication due to the laws of their country
  • Harm reduction services including a comprehensive Needle Syringe Programme (including smoking equipment), OD Training and the provision of Naloxone
  • Primary healthcare assessment in relation to acute problems and basic medical treatment/first aid
  • Referral to specialist services as required

OAT – Availability, Import and Export

Whilst OAT can be arranged, this will only be prescribed where the individual is unable to export their medication.

OAT must be arranged in advance of the conference - You should contact the Medical Services Coordinator as soon as possible at medical[at]hri[dot]global if you are likely to require drug treatment in Australia. This treatment may be subject to a small fee. The full details of such costs and any funding arrangements can be clarified with HRI.

Delegates should also carry an addressed and stamped letter from their prescriber, detailing your name, address, date-of-birth, passport number, name of medication being taken, daily dose, dates of travel and return, plus total number of days prescribed.

Australian Border Force (ABF) website advice:

You do not need a permit to bring in most prescription medicines even if they contain a controlled substance because such imports are generally covered by a traveller exemption scheme.

Prescription medication can be imported under a traveller exemption, provided that:

  • you are arriving in Australia as a passenger on board a ship or aircraft
  • the medicine is carried in your accompanied baggage
  • you carry a letter or copy of your prescription (written in English) from your doctor to certify that the medicine has been prescribed to you to treat a medical condition
  • the quantity of the medicine does not exceed three months’ supply.

You should leave your medicine in its original packaging and declare it to the Australian Border Force when you arrive.

Information taken from ABF on 24/08/22; click here to check for updates.

COVID Safety Policy

You can read our COVID Safety Policy here.


For further information regarding the HR23 Wellbeing facilities, please email medical[at]hri[dot]global (in confidence).

Please refer back to this page for any updates and new information. An information leaflet for delegates (detailing all local services) will be made available nearer the time.

©2023 Harm Reduction International
Charity number – 1117375
Company number – 3223265
61 Mansell Street
Aldgate, London, E1 8AN
HR23 brought to you by:
Harm Reduction International
In partnership with:
Melbourne Convention BureauMelbourne AustraliaAIVLASHMHarm Reduction VictoriaINHSU