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Transcript of interview with Deborah Knight: Today: 15 May 2018: the release of the draft National Action Plan for endometriosis

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Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Hastings, Victoria.

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health


15 May 2018



Topics: The release of the draft National Action Plan for Endometriosis

DEBORAH KNIGHT: It’s a condition that affects one in 10 women, but endometriosis is dubbed a silent epidemic, prompting the Federal Government to release a new plan to try to tackle the problem. For more, we’re joined by Health Minister Greg Hunt in Melbourne. Minister good morning to you.

GREG HUNT: Good morning Deb.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: We know endometriosis is crippling, very painful for so many women. It can lead to infertility, a really big issue. Tell us what this new plan involves.

GREG HUNT: So endometriosis as you say can be agonising for so many women, one in 10 of child-bearing age, at least 700,000 women. So that’s an extraordinary number who suffer from this condition. This plan is firstly about bringing endometriosis out into the light, so as women have the confidence to talk about it, GPs and emergency doctors are fully aware and nurses are aware.

And the plan really covers three things: awareness and education, better diagnosis and treatment, and very importantly, research. So as we can have new ways of diagnosing and new ways of treating.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: It is staggering to me that it can take seven to ten years to diagnose endometriosis. Why is the medical practitioners and the medical staff simply getting it so wrong with this?

GREG HUNT: Well, I think you’re absolutely right, and I’ve had great engagement from the Australian Medical Association. The president Michael Gannon is an obstetrician and gynaecologist and wants to see more work. I’m meeting with the president of the College of General Practitioners tomorrow, Bastian Seidel, who really wants to engage his profession and his workforce in early diagnosis. Really, the answer is that there hasn’t been the knowledge, there hasn’t been the awareness, both amongst patients and sufferers and also amongst the medical community.

Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Hastings, Victoria.

So what we’re seeing now is much greater interest and awareness. Our job as a federal government, my job as the Health Minister, is to help bring this into the light, to provide the funds for education, awareness, the ability of GPs and emergency doctors and nurses to help patients have that early diagnosis, and then ultimately to have the research that will produce better, earlier, more effective treatments.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Yeah, well change is definitely needed and many women will be nodding their heads in agreement there. And Minister, are you all ready, you’re fit and fighting for the election campaign? It’s going to be happening any week now, isn’t it?

GREG HUNT: Fitness is good; I’ve been out for an early morning run today. I don’t think any week, our plan is to run the full term which is…

DEBORAH KNIGHT: The polls, they’re going so well though. Surely, it’ll happen before next year?

GREG HUNT: I think our plan is to run the full term. Australians for the most part don’t like early elections, there are not too many election junkies out there. They want us to get on with the job of running the country and them to get on with the ability to run their businesses, to work, to be engaged in their lives. So we want to give them a full term.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: No disagreement there. Minister thanks for your time this morning.

GREG HUNT: Thanks Deb.