$4m boost in funding for osteoporosis plan

A national strategic action plan for osteoporosis is set to provide critical support to the 4.7 million Australians aged over 50 who live with poor bone health. 

 The plan, launched yesterday (October 17) in Canberra by Osteoporosis Australia and the federal government with Health Minister Greg Hunt, also supports a preventative approach to reduce future bone fractures and the impact of osteoporosis on the Australian healthcare system.

Government is allocating $4 million to support implementation of the plan, launched in the lead-up to World Osteoporosis Day on Sunday (October 20).

 The plan addresses the key priorities of increasing osteoporosis awareness and education with a focus on prevention; improving osteoporosis diagnosis, management and care; and data collection, monitoring and strategic research.

 In 2019, the cost of osteoporosis will surpass $2.1 billion, 70 per cent of which will be directly related to fracture costs. Australians will sustain up to 165,000 broken bones (fractures) due to poor bone health, with 4.7 million Australians over 50 continuing to be impacted by the disease.

 Mr Hunt says the launch of the plan is a significant step in improving the quality of life for Australians living with poor bone health, and reducing the substantial financial burden that osteoporosis has on the Australian healthcare system.

 Currently, 66 per cent of Australians aged over 50 are estimated to have poor bone health. Hip fractures remain the costliest type of fracture related to osteoporosis. Other types of fractures remain widespread: wrist, spinal, arm and leg fractures. While osteoporosis mainly affects women, men also need to check their bone health, with 25 per cent of cases occurring in men.

 For further information visit: www.osteoporosis.org.au

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