Mandatory Disease Testing of offenders who expose police officers to bodily fluids goes live on August 1.
The PANSW secured legislation that compels an offender to undergo testing and those test results be provided to the treating medical practitioner of the police officer. Testing orders under that legislation will be available from August 1.
This is the culmination of years of advocacy, campaigning and hard work by PANSW Officials and Staff. You can read about the long campaign in Advocacy: Mandatory Disease Testing.
Every year, hundreds of police officers are subject to vile attacks during which offenders deliberately expose them to bodily fluids like being stabbed with used syringes, or being intentionally covered in a violent offender’s blood.
These incidents are disgusting and can be traumatising for those officers.
Police officers who are the victims of these attacks deserve every option available to look after their physical and psychological health and safety.
The chances of these attacks transmitting are disease are in most circumstances, very low.
However, the police officers who are the victims of these attacks are in effect victimised three times: they suffer the physical injury of the attack, the psychological trauma of such a disgusting and degrading act, and they endure months of stress and anxiety while they undergo months of testing and waiting to confirm whether they have contracted a communicable disease.
While they undergo months of testing and waiting, the offender who assaulted them is not required to undergo any sort of testing.
The PANSW secured legislation that compels an offender to undergo testing and those test results be provided to the treating medical practitioner of the police officer.
While the offender's test results are not conclusive, the results provide more information for the treating medical practitioner to advise the police officer on the risk of transmission, and recommended treatment and testing plans.
Affected officers should always act in accordance with the advice of their treating medical practitioner to assist them to understand the test results provided, the risk of transmission, and recommended treatment and testing plans.
The PANSW would like to thank those in the policing family that supported this important protection for police, including:
The members of NSW Parliament that voted for the MDT Legislation,
Other Emergency Service unions that supported the PANSW campaign,
Police officers of the NSWPF that supported the PANSW position and worked tirelessly to get procedures and solutions implemented, and
You, the members, who continued to serve the people of NSW despite suffering these terrible attacks, and shared your stories with the PANSW, politicians and the media to strengthen the campaign that has at last resulted in a Mandatory Disease Testing process to protect you and your colleagues.