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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chronic wounds should be part of federal election agenda

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Wounds Australia chair Hayley Ryan believes the 2022 federal election is a unique opportunity for politicians and candidates to commit to action on the hidden epidemic of chronic wounds that has spread across Australia, particularly in the aged care sector.

“They must take action, now – it’s time for the rhetoric on reviews and inquiries to stop,” she said in a statement.

“It is time to deliver the health and aged care policies and reforms that are long overdue – the 420,000 Australians suffering from chronic wounds are depending on it.”

She said every candidate must support the 2900 voters in their electorate living with a chronic wound, each facing average out of pocket costs of $4000 a year.

It is time to deliver the health and aged care policies and reforms that are long overdue – the 420,000 Australians suffering from chronic wounds are depending on it.

Wounds Australia chair, Hayley Ryan CSC

After all, she explained, 2900 chronic wound patients in a marginal seat are more than enough to determine the winner.

“The federal election campaign is time to commit to policies that slash the burden on hospitals and residential care facilities.

“It is an opportunity to save on the more-than-$3 billion being spent annually on chronic wounds from the health and aged care budgets.

Wounds Australia has put together an 11 Point Plan to solve the chronic wounds epidemic. It is a blueprint, the organisation said, for all parties and candidates to introduce affordable, straightforward, evidence-based reforms to the health and aged care sectors.

“Wounds Australia is surveying all candidates and parties about their policies and the programs they will commit to during the next term of parliament. We will release results and a ‘Report Card’ on each of them before election day,” Ryan said.

Hayley Ryan, a wounds clinical nurse consultant and director at Wound Rescue, says it’s time for the rhetoric on
reviews and inquiries to stop, it is time to deliver long overdue health and aged care policies and reforms.

“The results will be available online and distributed to over 13,000 clinicians around Australia to share in their workplaces, with colleagues and patients.

“Embracing Wounds Australia proposals is good policy and good politics for all parties and candidates. They will save money and cut patient numbers.

Ryan said the constituency of nearly half a million Australians impacted directly by chronic wounds has sat in silence for every previous election.

“They’ve had enough. Their carers and supporters have had enough. They are all watching and ready to cast their votes,” she said.

Wounds Australia background

Wounds Australia is the peak body for wound prevention and management.

It represents  thousands of clinicians including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, researchers, allied health care and aged care professionals, who treat over 420,000 Australians with a chronic wound each year.

Wounds Australia’s 11 Point Plan and 2022-23 Federal Budget Submission are available here.

Key initiatives include:

  • a National Wound Services Scheme to subsidise wound products for people with
  • venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, over 65s, and concession card holders
  • a national public health campaign on the warning signs and where to seek help
  • the introduction of wound care education modules into medical, allied health and
  • aged care degrees, courses and other qualifications
  • funding for the treatment of chronic wounds in primary health care.

Wounds Australia was fully committed to working with all political parties to implement plans and solutions in the next term of parliament that:

  • deliver major savings for the health and aged care budgets
  • prevent thousands from entering the healthcare system each year
  • enhance Australia’s tertiary education system
  • improve the skills of rural and regional health and aged care workforces.

Wounds Australia’s Federal Election Candidate Survey has been distributed to every major party candidate, minor party and independent candidates already announced.

Results will be published after nominations page closed and a ‘Report Card’ issued for each candidate and party.

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