A Healthy Start To The Campaign Brings A Win For Arthritis Patients

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9th November 2010, 02:43pm - Views: 744
A Healthy Start to the Campaign Brings a Win for Arthritis Patients

Arthritis Victoria is pleased to see the announcement of new funding for osteoarthritis hip and knee replacements, together with additional funding for children with chronic or long-term illnesses and new specialist and general practitioner training posts included in the Victorian Australian Labor Party's health policy, released yesterday.

"The policy announcement represents a win for patients with the expansion of a program to provide all osteoarthritis hip and knee patients with access to an initial outpatient appointment within 8 weeks of referral from their GP, " said Natalie Savin, Arthritis Victoria CEO.

"A key issue for people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions is the long wait for a specialist appointment. Arthritis Victoria has advocated over a long period of time for this waiting period to be reduced. For example, we know that the early diagnosis and treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis can alter the course of this progressive disease. This is an important policy win for patients living with the pain and discomfort of arthritis.

"The announcement of additional funds to improve services for children with chronic or long-term illnesses is also welcome, particularly the initial focus on providing care for children with Juvenile Arthritis. This condition affects around one in every 1000 kids. Around four children are diagnosed with arthritis every week and these kids can be as young as 11 months old when first diagnosed. This funding will provide improved care for young children, and a relief for their families.

"We also welcome the announcement of new specialist and GP training posts and new doctors for rural and regional Victoria. Providing better access to care, and early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis is a key issue in regional and rural communities."

Arthrtis Victoria has released a Policy Platform document called... better health, social & economic outcomes for the State of Victoria which can be accessed at
http://www.arthritisvic.org.au/downloads/AV%20Policy%20Platform.pdf

Media contact
Jason Berek-Lewis
Communications Manager
Phone: 03 8531 8024
Mobile: 0404 055 265
Email: [email protected]

Arthritis Victoria is a community-based health promotion organisation for people with arthritis, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Arthritis is Australia's major cause of disability and chronic pain and affects 18.6 percent of the Victorian population. More than 820,000 Victorians live with chronic pain and discomfort. Sixty two percent of people with arthritis are of working age, between 15 and 64 years. There are approximately 1,000 children in Victoria with juvenile arthritis.

For more information on arthritis, osteoporosis and other musculoskeletal conditions, call the Arthritis Victoria Telephone Information Service (available 10am 4pm Monday to Friday on 8531 8000 or toll free for country callers 1800 011 041). For a range of resources and information on courses and events visit www.arthritisvic.org.au

SOURCE: Arthritis Victoria


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