We Need Your Help to SpeakUp4Arthritis

A central role of Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania is to ensure people with arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions have a strong voice within the health system and community at large. To do this we have recently launched our SpeakUp4Arthritis advocacy campaign.

To get our message heard in the lead-up to the 2018 Tasmanian Election Campaign we need your help!

Tell your local State Election candidate how arthritis affects you and your family. Telling your story in your own words is a powerful way to help them understand the personal impact of arthritis and why better programs and services are needed.

Want to Take Action? It’s easy – here’s what you can do

  • Like, Comment and Share the SpeakUp4Arthritis posts on our social media page – facebook.com/ArthritisTasmania
  • Post a message on your local candidates’ social media page (and share the post with your family and friends)
  • Ring your local candidates’ office
  • Send your local candidates’ an email or letter
  • Organise a meeting with your local candidates’, especially if they are visiting your area
  • Need more help, ring Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania on (03) 6228 4824.
The more phone calls, letters and emails they receive, the more likely they will be to take action, so share this site with your family and friends and ask for their support too.

Not sure who your local candidates are? To find out, choose your Electorate to show a list of candidates.

Liberal Labor Green Jacquie Lambie Net
Simon Wood Michelle O’Byrne Andrea Dawkins Michelle Hoult
Bridget Archer Owen Powell Emma Anglesay Joshua Hay
Sarah Courtney Adam Gore Emma Williams Gary Madden
Michael Ferguson Brian Roe Tom Hall Daniel Groat
Peter Gutwein Jennifer Houston James Ireland
Liberal Labor Green Jacquie Lambie Net
Jeremy Rockliff Shane Broad Scott Jordan Roslyn Flanagan
Adam Brooks Thelma Bulle Sally O’Wheel Rodney Flowers
Felix Ellis Anita Dow Tom Kingston Timothy Lovell
Roger Jaensch Danielle Kidd Julie Norbury Colin Smith
Joan Rylah Wayne Roberts Philip Nicholas Gina Timms
Liberal Labor Green Other
Elise Archer Scott Bacon Cassy O’Connor
Simon Behrakis Madeleine Ogilvie Helen Burnett
Kristy Johnson Tim Cox Mel Fitzpatrick
Sue Hickey Ella Haddad Aaron Benham
Dean Young Zelinda Sherlock Rose Kokkoris
Liberal Labor Green Other
Nic Street David O’Byrne Rosalie Woodruff S
Will Hodgman Kathryn Barnsley Richard Atkinson
Claire Chandler Heather Chong Holly Ewin
Simon Duffy Kevin Midson Ross Lincolne
Jacquie Petrusma Alison Standen Lachlan Hatfield
Liberal Labor Green Jacquie Lambie Net
Rene Hidding Rebecca White Fraser Brindley Michael Kent
Jane Howlett Jen Butler Helen Hutchinson Chris Reynolds
Guy Barnett Janet Lambert Lucy Landon-Lane Bob Vervaat
Mark Shelton Gerard Gaffney Gary Whisson
John Tucker Kylie Wright Glen Millar
Darren Clark

Please note, to make it easy for you to contact your local candidate/s, their email or website address has been hyperlinked to their name. The pre-filled email message includes the subject ‘SPEAKUP4ARTHRITIS’. If you wish to provide us with a copy of your correspendence, please email this to SpeakUp4Arthritis@arthritistas.org.au.

Why Speak Up?

Arthritis is one of the most common, costly and disabling chronic conditions in Australia. It affects people of all ages including children, causing pain, stiffness, impaired physical function and reduced quality of life.

  • In Tasmania in 2015 an estimated 119,000 people were reported to be living with arthritis [1] and this is expected to increase by 20.5% by 2030.
  • An estimated 44% of Tasmanian adults have three or more long term chronic health conditions. [2]
  • 1,595 knee and 1,521 hip replacements were performed in Tasmania in 2016
  • The healthcare costs* associated with arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions in Tasmania are expected to increase from $162.4 million in 2015, to $197.7 million by 2030 – an increase of $35 million. [3]

* The healthcare costs comprised hospital expenses, out-of-hospital medical expenses, and the costs of pharmaceuticals.

The prevalence and impact of these conditions on people’s lives, and the health system, has been ignored for too long.

It is essential that the needs of people with arthritis are taken seriously by politicians.

It is time for the government to take action, and we need your help!

Tell your local State Election candidate how arthritis affects you and your family.

For more information on the current and future burden of arthritis, download Counting the Cost, a report prepared by Arthritis Australia.

Our Priorities for Tasmania

Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania conducted extensive membership and stakeholder surveys in 2017 as part of its strategic planning processes. Gathering feedback on issues that are important to people with arthritis has led to the development of an election manifesto for arthritis, with the following priorities central to providing better care for people with arthritis in Tasmania:

Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania is calling for:

  1. Implementation of a strategic, cohesive and appropriately resourced Musculoskeletal Model of Care for Tasmania as an immediate priority.

What is a Model of Care and why does Tasmania need one?

  • Significant time and effort has been committed to developing a cohesive and strategic musculoskeletal Model of Care for Tasmania, yet to date this initiative remains unfunded
  • A Model of Care provides an evidence-based framework that describes how services and other resources should be delivered to people living with specific health conditions.
  • It will help ensure people with arthritis receive the best care at the right time across the disease continuum, from early diagnosis through to advanced stages of their condition.
  • Core to the model is a patient centred approach where people with arthritis are provided with high quality timely information on the nature of disease progression and self-management and coping strategies.
  1. Improved access to public rheumatology and persistent pain management specialty services for people living in the north and north west regions

Why is this important?

  • Rheumatology specialist services are currently delivered in both the public and private systems in southern Tasmania. A lack of capacity in the current service model in the public system means long waiting times for Rheumatology specialist appointments (currently 1,018 days for non-urgent) in the south, and NO public clinics in the north and north-west regions.
  • There is currently no state-wide persistent pain services in the public health system in Tasmania
  • Existing persistent pain / self-management programs at community level are ad hoc or fragmented
  • As a consequence of the current situation people with arthritis:
    • experience long delays for Rheumatology specialist appointments; or simply give up waiting;
    • are referred inappropriately to surgical or neurology waiting lists;
    • are not given the opportunity for early diagnosis and referral to improved pain pathways and self-management programs
    • experience poorer health outcomes
  • Early diagnosis and access to specialty services is critical to avoid or limit irreversible joint damage, deformity and disability.
  • An appropriately resourced specialist rheumatology/persistent pain service (including specialist medical, rheumatology nursing and allied health support) located in the North, would greatly improve access and health outcomes for those living in the north and north west regions of Tasmania
  1. Appropriate resourcing for Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania, as the ONLY dedicated organisation providing information, education and support services to Tasmanians living with arthritis, their carers, and health professionals.

Why is this important?

  • Heavily dependent upon volunteers and community support, and with more pressure than ever on the donor dollar, the Foundation is unsustainable in the long term without appropriate government resourcing.
  • The closure of Arthritis & Osteoporosis Tasmania would leave the State without a dedicated information and support service for the 1 in 4 Tasmanians with arthritis, osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Callers to the Arthritis InfoLine would receive no answer, or be picked up in another state by someone unfamiliar with local Tasmanian services and referral pathways.
  • The warm water exercise classes highly valued by around 160 people each week would no longer be available.

[1] Arthritis Australia, 2016. Counting the Cost: Part 1 Healthcare Costs.
[2] Department of Health & Human Services Tasmania: Health Indicators Tasmania 2013.
[3] Arthritis Australia, 2016. Counting the Cost: Part 1 Healthcare Costs.