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Policy and Advocacy

Arthritis Australia advocates to government, business, industry and community leaders to improve care, management, support and quality of life for people with arthritis. In addition to developing a consumer led, proactive policy and advocacy agenda, we participate in government consultations and prepare submissions to government agencies on a range of issues affecting people with arthritis.

Highlighting the importance of sports injury prevention

Arthritis Australia has highlighted the importance of making sports injury prevention a priority in the National Sport Plan being developed by the Australian government.

Sports injuries are a leading cause of osteoarthritis, accounting for around 20% of osteoarthritis of the knee. In particular, rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major supporting ligament in the knee, leads to knee osteoarthritis within 10 to 15 years in 50 to 70% of cases. Most ACL injuries are sports related and occur in adolescents and young adults. As a result they can develop osteoarthritis of the knee at a relatively young age, substantially increasing their risk of disability and joint replacement compared to their peers.

Yet up to 60% of ACL and other lower limb injuries can be prevented with simple strength and agility training that can be built into normal sports warm-up routines. A sports injury prevention program based on these strategies could be implemented by the Australian Sports Commission at minimal cost, but would save the health system hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing sports injuries and the community burden of osteoarthritis.

Our submission to the consultation on the National Health Plan was made in collaboration with a number of medical and sporting organisatio

   Submission to the consultation to develop a National Sports Plan


Improving the whole public transport journey

Arthritis Australia made a submission to the government on a consultation draft of a guide to improving whole-of-journey accessibility for public transport. The key points raised in the submission include:

  • People with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions often experience great difficulty accessing public transport
  • Because of the often invisible nature of their condition, people with arthritis, especially younger people report that they do not get the assistance and consideration they need either from drivers of public transport or from fellow passengers, in terms of boarding or disembarking assistance, access to priority seats and rails, and patience when additional time is required to get on and off public transport.
  • We welcome the development of the Whole of Journey Guide and support the principles and guidelines it outlines. We would however like to see more specific guidelines included for more complex facilities such as larger train and bus stations and, in particular, airport terminals.
  • The needs of commuters with invisible disabilities should be more specifically addressed in the Guide. In particular we support the introduction of a ‘Please offer me a seat’ program like that recently implemented by Transport for London to recognise customers with invisible impairments who have difficulty standing but struggle to get a seat on public transport because their impairment is not immediately apparent. 

   Arthritis Australia The Whole Journey Guide submission


Medical Research Future Fund

Arthritis Australia is advocating for increased government research funding for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). The MRFF was recently established by the Australian Government to boost strategic investment in medical research.


Current government research funding for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is disproportionately low relative to the disease burden and cost of these conditions.  Strategic investment from the MRFF will boost research capacity to achieve a quantum leap in the quality and utility of research in the musculoskeletal field. 


Click on the links below to view

   Boosting musculoskeletal research through strategic co-investment with the Medical Research Future Fund

   MSK Burden of musculoskeletal conditions MRFF Submission

   Arthritis Australia MRFF Priorities submission



Submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration on Regulation of autologous cell and tissue products

Arthritis Australia and the Australian Rheumatology Association made a submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s review of regulatory arrangements for treatments which use a person’s own cells or tissues. Our interest in this area relates in particular to the use of stem cell therapies to treat osteoarthritis, which we recommend should be subject to more stringent regulation.

Click on the links below to view

   Submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration on Regulation of autologous cell and tissue products


Submissions to Government

   Therapeutic Goods Administration: Packaging and labelling of medicines

   Therapeutic Goods Administration: Evidence for listed medicines

   Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia

   Response to the  Productivity Commission’s recommendations in its inquiry report Caring for Older Australians

   Arthritis Australia submission on NDIS eligibility and support statement



Reviewed and updated August 2017

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