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Arthritis Australia welcomes funding for kids with arthritis

Arthritis Australia 2 mins read

Arthritis Australia has welcomed Australian Government funding announced in the federal budget for kids living with juvenile arthritis, including renewed funding for Arthritis Australia and its affiliates to expand access to juvenile arthritis kids camps.

“Our kids camps play a vital role in supporting children with juvenile arthritis and their families to navigate this misunderstood chronic condition,” said Arthritis Australia CEO Jonathan Smithers.

“This budget, which also includes support for early detection and diagnosis, shows a sustained commitment from the Government to provide better support for juvenile arthritis, and is a very welcome step towards implementing the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into childhood rheumatic illness.”

“We also strongly welcome cost of living measures to freeze indexation of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme copayments.”

“However, there are still major untapped opportunities to improve arthritis care that will ultimately reduce health system expenditure, such as the huge and growing cost of joint replacement surgery, one of the most expensive items in the health budget.”

“Three quarters of people with arthritis have at least one other chronic condition, and symptoms like pain and immobility are a major barrier to managing their overall health. They need better support at a much earlier stage, through multidisciplinary models of care that will be effective not just for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, but many other chronic diseases too.

“For conditions such as low back pain, we are seeing serious harms to desperate patients who are resorting to risky and ineffective surgery because the health system is not providing them with access to evidence based alternatives to manage their pain.”

“We call on the Government to take the opportunity presented by the refresh of the Chronic Disease Framework to invest in better care for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, which are the highest disability burden disease group.”

“We also want to see increased funding for research into high burden conditions like arthritis through the Medical Research Future Fund, and look forward to engaging with the Government on the development of a national research strategy.”

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions cost the health system almost $15 billion a year. Arthritis Australia recently released new research projecting over 5.3 million Australians will be living with arthritis by 2040, marking a sharp 31% increase from today’s figures. An overall loss of $9.4 billion in GDP has been projected in 2030 due to the impact of arthritis on the labour force via lost income, additional welfare payments, and lost taxation revenue.


About us:

About Arthritis Australia

Arthritis Australia is the peak national body for arthritis, advocating on behalf of around 4 million Australians living with arthritis, and working with many other arthritis organisations to deliver information and support to people living with more than 100 types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. We are a leading non-government funder of arthritis research in Australia and advocate for policies, programs and funding initiatives that will improve the health and wellbeing of people living with arthritis. For more information visit:

Contact details:

Issued by Cube on behalf of Arthritis Australia. For more information, please contact: Anne-Marie Sparrow on 0417 421 560.

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