Minister announces $4 million for the National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis.

Arthritis Australia welcomes today’s announcement from the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, that the Commonwealth Government will invest $4 million towards the National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis.

Led by Arthritis Australia in partnership with key consumer and medical groups, the Action Plan outlines key priorities for preventing arthritis, investing in research and improving treatment and support for people living with the condition.

Minister Hunt says virtually every family has witnessed the effects of arthritis.

“Arthritis is a condition that can affect four million Australians. It can range from inconvenient and painful to agonising and utterly debilitating. In my own family we’ve seen it but with four million Australians, virtually every family has seen or witnessed the effects of arthritis,” said Minister Hunt.

“Arthritis Australia has done a great job. They helped see and drive this plan into being. As part of that, we’re backing our National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis with four million dollars. Two million for information and education, of which one million will directly go to the work of Arthritis Australia in informing patients and their families of their choices, their options and the range of treatments available. Two million will go towards better diagnosis and treatments of patients.”

Arthritis Australia CEO Andrew Mills welcomes the funding and thanks the Minister for Health for launching this very important plan, which he says is a step forward in realising the vision of improved quality of life for people living with Arthritis.

“This funding is an important first step towards ensuring people with arthritis get the right treatment, care and support they need to live well with their condition. Too many people with arthritis are not coping well because they don’t receive the care and support they need through the health system.”

“There is a lot of work to be done and currently there is no cure for arthritis. Therefore, we also look forward to further commitments and bipartisan support to implement all of the recommendations in the action plan, including improved health services and greater investment in research. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions account for 12% of the disease burden in Australia yet they do not receive the priority they deserve in health policy and programs and funding towards research has declined in real terms by a third over the last five years.”

“Ambitious and forward-looking investment in research from the Medical Research Future Fund is critical to help find better ways to treat and, ultimately to cure, arthritis in its many forms,” finished Mr Mills.

Download the 2019 National Strategic Action Plan for Arthritis