The Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Hon Stephen Wade, MLC, is responsible for managing the implementation of voluntary assisted dying in South Australia. SA Health, the Minister's Department, states on its website that VAD may not commence for 18 months or two years, which is understood to mean December 2022 or June 2023. No other state has taken such a long time from passing the VAD legislation to commencement. Queensland will start 15 months after passing the legislation. All other states - Victoria, WA, and Tasmania - are 18 months.
People who campaigned for voluntary assisted dying are asking why are they being made to suffer for even longer. Some are anxious that they may wish to access VAD by the end of 2022 or early 2023. And if SA Health has not prepared the policies and rules, they will be denied VAD and continue to suffer.
We know that the Chair of Victoria's VAD Review Panel, Justice Betty King, publicly offered to share all Victoria's systems, policies, training, portal development. SA's legislation is almost exactly the same as Victoria where they also have the benefit of two years of experience working with and upgrading their systems, policies and procedures. VADSA members and supporters believe there is no reason why South Australians should be made to wait longer than people in any other state.