The doctor at the Royal Hobart Hospital who are attending to babies born to drug-addicted mothers, have insisted that parents undergo screening before the babies are discharged from the hospital. It is estimated that nearly 20 newborns undergo treatment for drug addictions at the hospital annually.
The director of the Royal Hobart Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, Peter Dargaville, said, "We see the most severely affected babies in the special care nursery because they show signs of a physical withdrawal. To encourage parents, maybe even to mandate that they be clean of illicit drug-taking at the time of taking their baby going home. Secondly, they be prepared to give us proof of that with urine samples."
The doctor has recommended the use of discretion during disbursement of the baby bonus sum of $4,000. He suggests that the baby bonus be given as coupons to parents of babies who are still consuming illegal drugs, which can be periodically redeemed to adequately care for the child.