HR19 Porto 28 April - 1 May 2019

Wellbeing at HR19

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 Portugal 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 Portugal.

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 100mls 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

  • OST 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

OST – Availability, Import and Export

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

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

As per the Schengen Agreement, delegates travelling to the conference from abroad are permitted to carry a personal supply of methadone or buprenorphine with them - a supply for up to 30 days.

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.


For further information regarding the HR19 Medical and Healthcare 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.

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