Health Canada has granted the Dr. Peter Centre an exemption under federal law to continue to provide supervised injection services.
The centre has received a two year exemption under federal law which ensures its nurses and clients will not be charged under federal drug laws for their activities related to providing and accessing supervised injection services.
Dr. Peter Centre is an internationally recognized facility located in Vancouver that cares for people living with HIV who also have complex health and social issues, including mental illness and addictions. The Dr. Peter Centre have included nurse-supervised injection service into its range of health care services since 2002. The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, run the centre.
“This announcement is a significant step forward for Canadian health care,” said Maxine Davis, executive director, Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. “The Government of Canada has recognized that supervised injection reduces the harms of drug use for people who are actively addicted to injectable drugs."
Incorporating supervised injection into nursing care at the Dr. Peter Centre helps prevent infections, overdose deaths and the spread of disease such as hepatitis C, while at the same time engaging vulnerable people in effective HIV treatment. Stable access to supervised injection is especially critical given the steadily increasing rates of opioid overdoses and the presence of fentanyl in the illicit drug market in Vancouver and throughout B.C.