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MS Australia welcomes new Health Minister

Greg Hunt
22 February 2017

The national peak body for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), MS Australia congratulates and looks forward to working with the new Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt.

MS Australia (MSA) works with and represents our state and territory member organisations to meet the needs of the at least 23,000 people living with MS in Australia, their families and carers. We also work closely with MS Research Australia to advance research into the cause, prevention and a cure.

Whilst the standard of medical treatment of MS in Australia is one of the best in the world, people with MS also need a comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary approach to better manage their chronic condition.

MSA wants people with MS to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible to minimise disease activity and reduce disease progression. We also believe ongoing specialist care and support will reduce the impact on the healthcare system by minimising the need for crisis interventions.

A meeting with the new Health Minister will help MSA advance these wishes, raised in our 2017 Budget submission as proposals to expand the number of MS Nurses in Australia, and to implement an integrated therapeutic strategy with the potential to minimise disease activity and maximise lifelong brain health for those with MS.

A discussion with Minister Hunt will also help us better understand how the Medical Research Future Fund might advance research into the cause, prevention and a cure for MS.

A key focus of our work with the Neurological Alliance Australia is to increase research funding into a range of degenerative neurological diseases. The common wish for these 10 non-profit organisations, is to improve life quality and funding to support research for the well over half a million people living with these types of diseases in Australia.

Another focus for MS Australia is to see a strong, effective connection between the Health, Disability and Aged Care sectors so that people with degenerative neurological conditions such as MS can access the right services at the right time, regardless of their age and location.

MSA Australia CEO Deidre Mackechnie also thanked the former Health Minster Sussan Ley for her work in the portfolio in recent years.