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Turnbull Government fails to match words with actions for those living with eating disorders



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THE HON JULIE COLLINS MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING AND MENTAL HEALTH MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN

SENATOR DEBORAH O’NEILL SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INNOVATION SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FAILS TO MATCH WORDS WITH ACTIONS FOR THOSE LIVING WITH EATING DISORDERS

Labor welcomes the Turnbull Government’s announcement of a new trial for those on the Sunshine Coast living with an eating disorder. However, Labor remains concerned the Government continues to over promise and under deliver in relation to supporting all Australians with eating disorder treatments.

In May 2017, Minister Hunt recommended the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce investigate options for Medicare coverage for the treatment needs of those living with an eating disorder. Nearly one year later, the Medicare Task Force Clinical Committee finally met for the first time to look into this.

This new trial will be conducted over 18 months with the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce to look at the results of the trial to gauge its effectiveness. Yet, Minister Hunt has previously committed to providing more Medicare support for all Australians living with an eating disorder by the end of this year:

“… we have to change that paradigm and provide more services and more Medicare support in order to do that, and I am confident that over the course of the next year we will achieve that outcome.”

- GREG HUNT, 30 NOVEMBER 2017

The Turnbull Government has failed on its commitment to deliver a plan for specific treatment for all Australians who are living with eating disorders.

Eating disorders know no boundaries and are experienced by men and women of all ages. They are a serious mental illness with severe physical health consequences that affect over one million Australian men and women.

Eating disorders have amongst the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses and have devastating effects on carers and loved ones.

Minister Hunt must match his words with real action for the more than one million Australian men and women living with an eating disorder and their loved ones.

** Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 ED HOPE (33 4673). For urgent support, call Lifeline 13 11 14 **

WEDNESDAY, 13 JUNE 2018

MEDIA CONTACTS: LIAM CARSWELL (COLLINS) - 0438 469 119

ROSE KHATTAR (O’NEILL) - 0434 865 796