Wellbeing at HR17

Medical and Healthcare Facilities

For the past 25 years, Harm Reduction International’s conferences have been dedicated to promoting comprehensive and responsive health services and policies around the world. In this spirit, Harm Reduction International is committed to ensuring the event provides and facilitates appropriate care for all delegates who may have special medical and healthcare needs - especially delegates who use or have used drugs, or who are living with HIV, viral hepatitis or TB. In order to do this, a Medical Committee is appointed each year 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 Canada and should ensure that they carry such 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 Canada. This must include a letter from your physician (written in English) or prescription in your name, in case you are asked to verify your authorisation for these medications upon arrival at the airport.

All conference delegates undergoing any kind of medical treatment should 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.

An information leaflet for delegates (detailing all local services) will be made available nearer the time.

Services Available

  • OST where this has been pre-arranged and only for those who are unable to export substitute medication due to the laws of their country (see below)
  • Harm reduction services including a Needle Syringe Programme (NSP), OD Training and the provision of Naloxone
  • Primary healthcare assessment in relation to acute problems and basic medical treatment/first aid
  • Referral on 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. This must be arranged well in advance of the conference and you should contact the Medical and Healthcare Services Coordinator, Gill Bradbury, as soon as possible at medical[at]hri[dot]global if you are likely to require drug treatment in Canada. 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 travelling to the conference from abroad are permitted to carry a personal supply of methadone or buprenorphine with them, as per the guidance below.

When carrying medication abroad:

  • You are advised to carry your medication in your hand luggage in non-breakable containers
  • Please ensure you have a signed copy of your prescription and a doctor’s letter outlining your need for treatment – (we can provide a letter template for your doctor/clinic if required)
  • Please keep your medication in its original packaging with labels left intact

Guidance from Health Canada on Carrying Personal Prescriptions

Section 56 Class Exemption For Travellers Who Are Importing or Exporting Prescription Drug Products Containing a Narcotic or a Controlled Drug

This exemption gives authority to individuals who are travelling into or out of Canada and are carrying prescription drug products which contain a narcotic or controlled drug, to import, export, and possess for the purpose of export, such medications, subject to the terms and conditions of this exemption. This exemption does not apply to the importation or exportation of narcotic or controlled drugs for animals.

This exemption is only applicable if the following conditions are met:

  1. The narcotic or controlled drug has been obtained under a prescription and is packaged in pharmacy or hospital dispensed packaging with the appropriate labelling
  2. The narcotic or controlled drug is in the possession of the individual at the time of entry or departure
  3. The individual is importing or exporting the narcotic or controlled drug for their own use or for the use of a person for whom they are responsible and who is travelling with them, to meet the medical needs of the individual for which it has been prescribed
  4. The quantity of narcotic or controlled drug being imported or exported does not exceed the lesser of a single course of treatment OR a 30 day supply, based on the usual daily dose prescribed by the practitioner
  5. In the case of an export, the export will not contravene the laws and regulations of the country of destination
  6. In the case of an import, the narcotic or controlled drug is declared to a customs officer at the point of entry into Canada at the time of import

For more information, visit the Health Canada website.


For further information regarding the HR17 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.

HR17 Montréal
25th Harm Reduction International Conference
Montréal, Canada | 14 - 17 May 2017
www.hri.global/hr17 | #hr17 | @HRInews
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20 Years. Harm Reduction International

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