New plan launched to tackle endometriosis
The Federal Government has released the initial draft National Action Plan for Endometriosis as the first ever initiative to support the 700,000 women and girls living with the condition in Australia.
Making the announcement, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the draft plan was developed with endometriosis patient advocates, researchers and clinicians from around Australia earlier this year and is now open for public consultation.
Endometriosis is a chronic and progressive menstrual health disorder that affects at least one in 10 women of reproductive age. It often results in severe and chronic pain and can lead to infertility.
Diagnosis currently takes seven to ten years on average, largely due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the condition among primary healthcare professionals.
The draft report is comprised of three priority areas to help improve the lives of Australian women and girls who live with endometriosis: awareness and education, clinical management and care and research.
The release of the draft action plan follows an earlier announcement by Hunt this year that $2.5 million from the Medical Research Future Fund would be allocated to develop improved diagnosis and treatment options to improve patient outcomes for endometriosis suffers. More recently, the Federal Budget also injected a further $1 million to increase awareness and understanding of endometriosis among general practitioners and other frontline health professionals.
The National Action Plan is the first ever national initiative to tackle endometriosis in Australia and was further backed by all states and territories at last month’s COAG Health Minister’s meeting.
“I am determined to do more to support endometriosis sufferers around Australia and I encourage people to have their say and make sure we have the best possible National Endometriosis Action Plan going forward,” Hunt said.
The draft plan is open for public consultation until Monday 28 May. Submissions can be made at the Department of Health website.