The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, launched the National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis today, Thursday 17 October, at a special event in Parliament House in the lead up to World Osteoporosis Day (20 October).
The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, stated that the launch of the National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis is a significant step in improving the quality of life for Australians living with poor bone health and reducing the substantial financial burden that osteoporosis has on the Australian heathcare system.
Mr Hunt said, The Action Plan addresses the urgent need for a national strategic response to the challenges and burden of osteoporosis across Australia. It will focus on increased awareness, education and prevention of osteoporosis, including improved diagnosis and management, and care of people with, or at risk of, osteoporosis. The Government is allocating $4 million to support implementation of the Action Plan.”
Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, echoed Minister Hunt’s sentiment on the substantial impact the National Strategic Action Plan will have on the management and prevention of osteoporosis. Minister Colbeck said, ““Millions of Australians are affected by osteoporosis and poor bone health. The Morrison Government’s $4 million investment in the National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis will support better prevention of osteoporosis and poor bone health and will help improve quality of life for people across Australia, particularly seniors.”
Osteoporosis Australia CEO, Mr Greg Lyubomirsky, said, “This is an exciting outcome for osteoporosis prevention, as this is the first time osteoporosis has received the attention it deserves. OA commends Minister Hunt and Minister Colbeck on their commitment to making this substantial investment to commence implementation of key actions in the Plan. This is an important step forward in supporting the 4.7 million Australians with poor bone health”
The National Strategic Action Plan on Osteoporosis will address three key priorities:
1. Increasing osteoporosis awareness and education with a focus on prevention
2. Improving osteoporosis diagnosis, management and care; and
3. Data collection, monitoring and strategic research
The evidence-based plan provides a roadmap to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis nationally.
The launch at Parliament House Canberra had bipartisan support and was attended by the Hon Shadow Minister for Health, Chris Bowen, who presented and supported the launch of the action plan and the need for osteoporosis prevention. The Hon Julie Collins Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors also attended. The event included Osteoporosis Australia Patron Helen Dalley and Chairman John Hewson, as well as national medical experts and people living with osteoporosis. Special guest and National Osteoporosis Advocate Ita Buttrose AC, OBE also spoke at the event and encouraged all Australian to make their bone health a higher priority.
Currently 66 per cent of Australians aged over 50 are estimated to have poor bone health. While osteoporosis mainly affects women, men also need to check their bone health with 25 percent of cases occurring in men.
Captions, Top row (left to right): Prof Peter Ebeling AO Medical Director Osteoporosis Australia with Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, the Hon Chris Bowen Shadow Minister for Health, John Hewson Chariman Osteroporosis Australia and Helen Dalley Patron Osteoporosis Australia, Osteoporosis Patients Elaine Cotter and Carole David with National Osteoporosis Advocate Ita Buttrose AC, OBE.
Middle row (left to right): Chris Bowen, Ita Buttrose, The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Greg Lyubomirsky CEO Osteoporosis Australia, Prof Peter Ebeling. The Hon Julie Collins MP Shadow Minister for Ageing and Seniors. Zali Steggall OAM, MP Member for Warringah. Emma McBride Shadow Assistant Minister for Carers, A/Prof Justine Waters National Public Health Advisor Osteoporosis Australia.
Bottom row (left to right): Robyn Speerin: Former Head of Musculoskeletal Network, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, Dr Andreas Loefler: Orthopedic surgeon and representative of SOS Fracture Alliance, Tim Cooper: NSW agency for Clinical Innovation, Professor Lyn March AM: Rheumatologist, Representative Fragility Fracture Network (FFN), Julia Thompson: NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, Dr Gabor Major: Rheumatologist, Dr Weiwen Chen: Endocrinologist, Professor Jacqueline Close: Co-Chair, Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry, A/Prof Chris White: Endocrinologist, Dr Sonia Stanton: Endocrinologist, Dr Chris Hogan: GP and Associate Professor, Dr Chen, Prof Belinda Beck.