Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP is very pleased to advise that the Federal and State Governments have allocated funding to enable immediate commencement of a subsidy scheme for therapeutic compression garments in South Australia.
“Local lymphoedema sufferers, many of them breast cancer survivors, have long advocated for assistance to help them access the very expensive therapeutic compression garments they require to manage the condition, so this is very exciting news that will change the daily lives of many”, Mr Ellis said.
“No longer will sufferers have to worry about how to pay for the compression garments or be unable to leave their homes when their mobility is so bad, and they don’t have the specialised garments which can cost up to $2,000 for a set.
“The scheme offers eligible South Australians a 100 per cent subsidy for up to two sets of garments, ready-to-wear or custom-made, every six months.
“This is the first time a Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme has been offered to South Australians, and I am pleased to have been a part of making this happen,” Mr Ellis said.
The Federal Government has committed $2 million a year (ongoing) for lymphoedema support with the funding to commence immediately, and the State Marshall Liberal Government has allocated almost $2.5 million over the next two years.
Federal Minister for Health the Hon. Greg Hunt MP said the funding represents a significant step towards a nationally consistent approach to this important issue.
“Lymphoedema is a chronic condition characterised by swelling of certain parts of the body, usually a limb, caused by problems with the lymphatic system,” Minister Hunt said.
“Often the disease develops as a result of damage to the lymphatic system during treatment for cancer.
“Approximately 20 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will develop lymphoedema. The figures may be similar for other cancers including melanoma, gynaecological or prostate cancers.”
While there is currently no cure for the condition, it can be managed with appropriate intervention.
Prescribed compression garments are the primary treatment for many patients, reducing the build-up of fluids in affected limbs, and supporting and improving circulation to these limbs.
South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing the Hon. Stephen Wade MLC said this was the first time a Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme had been offered to South Australians.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a strong focus on providing better services closer to home, and this scheme is helping us to deliver on that promise to South Australians,” Minister Wade said.
“We know Lymphedema compression garments can reduce the development of associated complications and improve health outcomes for people living with the condition.
“Using these garments can also decrease the need for unnecessary admission to acute services, for people living with Lymphoedema.
“This will be tremendously beneficial for people who require these specialised compression garments to help manage their condition, enabling both greater independence at home and the ability to be an active part of the community.”
For more information about the SA Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme visit: www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/Lymphoedemascheme
The Lymphoedema Compression Garment Subsidy Scheme has been developed in collaboration with Local Health Networks, clinical experts, and community members with expert insight and lived experience.