Parkinson’s Australia CEO, Steve Sant, said “at least 100,000 Australians living with Parkinson's, their carers and families will get some joy this Christmas with the Commonwealth Government’s announcement that they will provide $5.8m to support a Neurological Nurse Specialist Pilot to improve access to specialised nursing care in the community for people living with neurological conditions. The pilot will be run across 15 locations and will have a focus on Parkinson’s.
The Government have ‘stepped up to the plate’ with this announcement recognising that nurses can make a real difference to the quality of lives of people living with Parkinson's. We expect that this pilot will demonstrate the value of nurses in keeping people well and out of hospital and that it will be expanded in the future.”
Parkinson's Australia has been calling on the Government to fund 51 Parkinson's Nurse Specialists at a cost of $20m over four years ,which is a tiny investment compared to the benefits that will accrue. Parkinson’s Nurse Specialists not only improve the quality of life for people living with Parkinson's but actually save the Government money by keeping people living independently in the community and out of hospital and residential aged care.
Parkinson’s Nurse Specialists work with neurologists, GPs and other members of the health care team, and most importantly the patients and their carers, to identify and address problems before they escalate - before a hospital admission, before a fall. This support reduces the cost to the health system and improves the quality of life of the person living with Parkinson’s.
Parkinson's is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative condition that has no cure. Over 13,000 new Parkinson’s cases are diagnosed every year. In 2019 it is estimated that 1 in every 300 people will be living with Parkinson's. Parkinson’s is more prevalent than many cancers including breast cancer, lung cancer and leukaemia.
Parkinson’s Australia Chair, Dr Moira Watson, said “people living with Parkinson’s appreciate the support of Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, Senator John (Wacka) Williams and Ann Sudmalis MP in realizing this important initiative. Parkinson’s Australia and our State members look forward to working with the Government to make this pilot program a great success.”
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Steve Sant, CEO Parkinson’s Australia, M: 0419 770 010
Parkinson's is common progressive degenerative neurological condition that affects more than 100,000 Australians. Parkinson’s symptoms may include muscle rigidity, tremor, postural instability and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). Parkinson's doesn’t just affect movement, other symptoms can include pain, sensory changes, changes in the gastrointestinal system, anxiety/depression, problems with memory and thinking, dementia and sleep disorders.
Parkinson's Australia is the national peak body and charity representing more than 80,000 Australians living with Parkinson’s.