Resource Distribution Formula for the Needles And Syringes Program
In June 2004, Essential Equity prepared a report for the AIDS and Infectious Diseases Branch (AIDB) of NSW Health on proposals for a Resource Distribution Formula to guide the allocation of funds. The report explored allocation under each of the three distinct programs operated by AIDB. New models were developed for the AIDS/HIV program and for the Sexually Transmissible Diseases (STD) program. However, the third program being for distribution of Needles and Syringes already had a needs based model in place. It was called the Injecting Drug Users (IDU) score developed in 1996 from data available at that time. While our report indicated that the IDU score may have some deficiencies resulting from the age of the model and its generalised assumptions, we did not feel it was necessary to develop a new distribution process given the pressing need for allocation mechanisms in the other two programs.
Essential Equity and the Centre for Health Service Development were then engaged by AIDB to formally develop a new model for the Needles and Syringes Program prepared through similar methodology to the proposals recommended for use with HIV/AIDS and STD. The final report, completed in April 2006, showed the relationship between various indicators of need defined by AIDB and current distribution patterns that were largely based on the IDU. A distribution formula for NSW Health Areas was developed using data on the incidence of Hepatitis C, ambulance attendances for drug overdose and the supply of methadone and buprenorphine.