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World Osteoporosis Day.

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Media Release Senator the Hon Kay Patterson Minister for Health and Ageing


The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched World Osteoporosis Day at Parliament House in Canberra.

On 20 October, World Osteoporosis Day is celebrated around the world as an opportunity to celebrate achievements made in osteoporosis prevention, care and treatment, and to raise awareness of what we can all do to prevent osteoporosis. This year, the Australian celebrations started in Canberra on 17 October with a launch at Parliament House.

"I'm delighted to have been invited to launch World Osteoporosis Day in this second year of the International Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010, with its focus on bone and joint disease, which has become a world-wide health concern," Senator Patterson said.

Senator Patterson referred to the high impact on quality of life that results from osteoporosis.

"It is a major cause of deformity, disability, poor quality of life and even death among the elderly, due mostly to falls, fractures and related complications," she said.

"Many of us have a friend or relative whose strength, stability and balance has been affected by osteoporosis, or who has had a fall related to osteoporosis."

"This government has recognised the costs to individuals and the community of this condition and the Government has allocated $11.5 million over four years in the 2002-2003 Federal Budget for improved care for people with arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoporosis.

"The Commonwealth Government has provided $14.4m over four years for the Sharing Health Care initiative to test chronic disease self-management service delivery models for Australians with chronic and complex health concerns including osteoporosis. There are projects in each State and Territory."

"In July this year, I gained the support of all Australian Health Ministers for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions (including osteoporosis) to become a seventh national health priority area.

"This means that all governments, health professionals and other key groups will work together to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians with osteoporosis - good news for World Osteoporosis Day."

For more information contact Randal Markey, Media Adviser, 0417 694 520

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