Submitted by Linda McGlone
FORGOTTEN CONDITION REMEMBERED
Epilepsy Action Australia is delighted with Greg Hunt’s commitment to further support a long neglected condition.
The announcement this week by The Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister for Health that the government has allocated $20million dollars to further support people living with epilepsy builds on an initiative carefully planned and developed by Epilepsy Action Australia after discussions with the government last year.
This initiative, the national Epilepsy Action Response Service funded by the Department of Health, following the government’s commitment in the 2018 budget, is on track for delivery over a three year period. The first stage, the Epilepsy Nurse Line with seven day per week real time access to highly skilled triage nurses and up-to-date information for people with epilepsy and their families, is now ‘live’ and due to be launched to the public in coming weeks.
Carol Ireland, CEO and Managing Director of Epilepsy Action Australia said, “I have had the opportunity to meet with Minister Hunt on a number of occasions to discuss the needs of people with epilepsy, including access to quality medical grade cannabinoid medicines”. Carol Ireland serves on the Minister appointed Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis
There are some 250,000 Australians currently diagnosed with epilepsy and 65 million people worldwide, but the World Health Organisation has said “It is doubtful if there is any, other medical condition so universally neglected, due to a combination of social stigma, low profile and lack of resources. Epilepsy is the world’s most common serious brain disorder.”
“I welcome this funding from the Australian Government to enable development of further innovative programs, building on existing services and interfacing with the current government funded initiatives.” Said Carol Ireland, CEO and Managing Director of Epilepsy Action Australia.