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MS Australia Launches Election Submission

3 May 2016

On May 5 the Commonwealth Parliamentary Friends of MS will host the launch of the Election Submission from MS Australia (MSA) at Parliament House Canberra.

We will be unveiling the ten election commitments we are seeking from all sides of politics on behalf of Australians affected by MS.

The submission highlights:

  • Just how close MS researchers are to finding a cure for MS and the importance of the continued investment in research to improve both treatment and prevention;
  • How a worrying number of people living with the condition are not having their needs met within the current healthcare system;
  • The economic cost of MS in Australia and how it could be greatly reduced by streamlining services and support, ensuring people with the condition are diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

More than 23,000 people are living with MS in Australia. It is the most common neurological condition affecting young adults. A diagnosis can have a serious impact in the prime of a person’s life, at a time when they are often planning families and careers.

The condition is unpredictable so while one day someone can be fine, the next they may not be able to see properly or move. Common symptoms include sight loss, pain, fatigue, sensory problems such as numbness, tingling and pins and needles; balance and mobility difficulties, and bladder issues.

Speaking ahead of the event, Deidre Mackechnie, CEO of MS Australia said: “As we approach this election we need to ensure that every candidate knows exactly how they can help people with MS live full and independent lives. The policies and promises of the winning party will determine the future of health, social care and welfare for people living with the condition in Australia.

“People with MS require both a greater investment in research and a comprehensive approach across all tiers of the Australian, state, territory and local governments.

“MS doesn’t just impact the person with the condition but their wider support network of family and friends who very often become a carer at some point. As a result, one of the things we will be asking for is the creation of articulated pathways of diagnosis, treatment, care and support, with an emphasis on consumer-directed care, to alleviate the work placed on the shoulders of these people.”

Spokespeople from MS Australia are available for comment. Please contact MSA Communications Officer Lauren Connors on 0427959972 or email lauren.connors@msaustralia.org.au