Tuesday 17th October, 2017, Canberra, Australia.
The Federal Minister for Health, the Honourable Greg Hunt MP, officially launched the project commissioned by Arthritis Australia “Rheumatology Nurses: Adding Value to Arthritis Care” at a parliamentary breakfast at Parliament House, Canberra. Minister Hunt also announced the commitment to a National Arthritis Strategy which is an exciting step forward. Other attendees included the Honourable Ken Wyatt (Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health), Nola Marino MP, Senator Carol Brown, Senator Rachel Siewart, Senator Claire Moore, Senator Anthony Chisholm, Maria Vamvakinou MP and Tony Zappia MP. The event was a great success, with members of the consumer board, department of health representatives and pharmaceutical representatives also present.
After an introduction from Ainslie Cahill (CEO, Arthritis Australia), and the official launch by Minister Hunt, Associate Professor Susanna Proudman (rheumatologist and medical director for Arthritis Australia) gave an overview of the results of the project. Max Stoneman (an ankylosing spondylitis patient) then gave a fantastic presentation on the value of rheumatology nurses, which was extremely well-received. Linda Bradbury, a member of the ATGC, president of the Rheumatology Health Professionals Association (RHPA) and a rheumatology nurse practitioner, spoke from a personal level and as a representative of rheumatology nurses from around the country.
From left to right, Max Stoneman (consumer), Linda Bradbury (RHPA president), Patrick McHarg (consumer), and the Honourable Greg Hunt MP (Minister for Health) at the launch. Photograph courtesy of Arthritis Australia.
There was a lot of media interest, and Linda Bradbury was interviewed by ABC Brisbane and ABC Radio North West – the ABC Brisbane news report can be seen here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-17/arthritis-suffers-missing-out-on-critical-help-with-treatment/9055898
Associate Professor Susanna Proudman and Linda Bradbury were also interviewed live on Fran Kelly’s Radio National breakfast show – listen here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/australia-desperately-needs-more-rheumatology-nurses/9056796
The full Arthritis Australia report can be viewed here: http://www.arthritisaustralia.com.au/index.php/reports/rheumatology-nurses-adding-value-to-arthritis-care.html