The Turnbull Government has released Australia’s first National Action Plan for Endometriosis to improve the quality of life of patients through better treatment, diagnosis, and aiming to ultimately find a cure.
Member for Hasluck, Ken Wyatt MP said the Plan outlines a new approach to improving awareness and understanding of endometriosis, speeding up diagnosis, and developing better diagnostic and treatment options.
“The Turnbull Government will invest a further $1.2 million to help implement the recommendations of the Plan, taking our investment in the National Action Plan for Endometriosis to $4.7 million,” Mr Wyatt said.
Mr Wyatt said endometriosis is a chronic menstrual health disorder that affects around 700,000 Australian women and girls.
“It often causes debilitating pain and organ damage, and can lead to mental health complications, social and economic stress and infertility” Mr Wyatt said.
“Many have suffered in silence for far too long, enduring diagnostic delays of between seven and twelve years on average.”
“Patients have historically experienced poor clinical care, due to a low level of understanding of the condition, both amongst the public and the medical community.”
Brooke Pearce, a young woman from the Hasluck community, has suffered from this disease from the age of 11.
“Throughout my journey, I have been refused pain medication, been told it’s all in my head, been kicked out of hospitals and had to explain my condition to more doctors and nurses than I care to count. I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy and more schedule 8 pain killers than many cancer patients. Each time something happens where I am expecting compassion and expertise and am met with confusion or disbelief, my self-worth and confidence is undermined and I wonder if I really matter.” Ms Pearce said.
The National Endometriosis Steering Group will oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan over the next five years, supported by our initial $1 million investment.
Members of the Steering Group include Dr Susan Evans, Janet Michelmore AO, Sylvia Freedman, Jessica Taylor, Professor Peter Rogers, Professor Jason Abbott, and Professor Stephen Robson.
Within this commitment, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health will receive $200,000 to roll out an online national awareness campaign during Women’s Health Week in September, to encourage women to visit their GP if they are experiencing symptoms of endometriosis.
Earlier this year, the Turnbull Government announced a $2.5 million grant program under the Medical Research Future Fund.
“I am delighted to announce that these funds will be invested in establishing the National Endometriosis Clinical and Scientific Trials Network” Mr Wyatt said.
“This means for the first time, patients will be able to take part in a coordinated national research platform for endometriosis, to develop better diagnostic options, better treatments, and work towards the development of a cure.”
“A further $1 million has already been committed to supporting GPs and other frontline health professionals through better access to educational resources about endometriosis, to help reduce diagnostic delay, and ensure that the right clinical care is provided to the right patients at the right time.”
“This will include the development of a short course in endometriosis for primary healthcare professionals.”
The Government looks forward to future work with our medical colleges to develop an Australian-first clinical guideline for endometriosis, which will lay out best-practice care for patients.
The National Action Plan was developed through close consultations with patients, the Australian Coalition for Endometriosis, and Australia’s leading endometriosis clinicians and researchers.
The National Action Plan for Endometriosis is available from the Department of Health’s website.