The National Strategic Action Plan on Osteoporosis was officially launched on 17 October, backed with $4 million implementation funding allocated by the Federal government
According to Osteoporosis Australia, the evidence-based plan will provide a roadmap to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis nationally.
CEO Greg Lyubomirsky welcomed the launch, saying the Plan sets out important priorities and actions to guide efforts to prevent poor bone heath and ensure osteoporosis is a national priority.
He said the Action Plan will address three key priorities:
- Increasing osteoporosis awareness and education with a focus on prevention.
- Improving osteoporosis diagnosis, management and care.
- Data collection, monitoring and strategic research.
“This is an exciting outcome for osteoporosis prevention, as this is the first time osteoporosis has received the attention it deserves … This is an important step forward in supporting the 4.7 million Australians with poor bone health,” he said.
The National Action Plan also outlines 20 recommendations to achieve these action items including focus on prevention, treatment, impact and cure.
“There is limited awareness of osteoporosis within the community and amongst healthcare professionals. The majority of Australians (58%) have limited understanding of what osteoporosis is and 60% do not understand who is most at risk. We see the National Action Plan playing a critical role in educating Australians to help make a difference from a preventive and treatment perspective.”
Professor Peter Ebeling AO, Head of the Department of Medicine in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, said the action plan also calls for a national strategy for research into the diagnosis, treatment and understanding of genetic factors.,
“We need to further develop GP engagement programs and systems to enable them to identify patients at risk, including men, and then have them investigated and treated for osteoporosis,” he said.
Funding for the osteoporosis plan includes $3 million released from the Medical Research Future Fund for a pilot project for the Primary Care Fracture Liaison Service, aimed at reducing further risk of breaking bones and significantly decreasing the burden of osteoporosis.
A further $500,000 is being provided directly to Osteoporosis Australia, and an additional $500,000 will be made available through a competitive grant to assist awareness and education work.