News

From our CEO

22 May 2024

Rohan Greenland The May 50K

The Federal Budget has come and gone, but it’s worth reviewing both the good points and the missed opportunities from the political pantomime that is Budget week.

On the plus side, we have seen significantly improved access to MRIs, a cheaper medicines initiative, another 24,000 aged care packages, a $300 rebate on electricity bills for all households and support for the development of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for medical research.

On the flip side, there was no comprehensive response to the NDIS review, no funding for an MS nurse pilot project and – as yet – no support for a neurological research mission under the MRFF.

But our advocacy work has not been in vain, as a neurological advisory working group has been established by the NDIA and there is progress in developing – at long last – a national neurological data set.

For a comprehensive look at the Budget measures of concern to the MS community, see our Budget analysis at: MS Australia’s Response to the 2024-25 Federal Budget – MS Australia

The Federal Budget, delivered on 14 May, is a day that rightly commands attention as the Government sets out its spending – and cost-cutting – measures for the coming years.

But this Budget comes ahead of the next federal election, due within the next 12 months. The election also brings commitments from the major parties to address issues of national and electoral importance.

In order to place our MS and broader neurological policies on the political agenda ahead of the federal election, we are convening a national summit on neurological conditions at Parliament House on 25 June.

Ministers, shadow ministers and major party spokespeople will all be there to hear Australia’s neurological organisations – from MS to MND, from Parkinson’s to Huntington’s, from stroke to dementia – put the case for fair funding for neurological research, better access to care, a minimum neurological data set and an end to discrimination for older people with disabilities.

Neurological conditions globally affect one in three people. We now have a WHO Global Action Plan for Neurological Conditions. It’s high time for an Australian action plan as well.

We will be looking – and demanding – responses from all major parties as the election looms. People with MS and other neurological conditions deserve nothing less.

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From our CEO