With two decades of nursing and wound care expertise, Wounds Australia Chair Hayley Ryan says it’s time for chronic wounds to be an election issue.
‘The 2022 federal election is a unique opportunity for politicians and candidates to commit to action on the hidden epidemic of chronic wounds that has spread across Australia, particularly in the aged care sector,’ she said.
‘They must take action, now. It’s time for the rhetoric on reviews and inquiries to stop! It is time to deliver the health and aged care policies and reforms that are long overdue. The 420,000 Australians suffering from chronic wounds are depending on it,’ said Ms Ryan.
An issue for every electorate
‘Every candidate must support the 2,900 voters in their electorate living with a chronic wound, each facing average out of pocket costs of $4,000 a year,’ said Hayley Ryan. ‘After all, 2,900 chronic wound patients in a marginal seat are more than enough to determine the winner.
‘The federal election campaign is time to commit to policies that slash the burden on hospitals and residential care facilities.
‘It is an opportunity to save on the more-than-$3 billion being spent annually on chronic wounds from the health and aged care budgets.’
11 point plan
‘Wounds Australia has built an 11 Point Plan to solve Australia’s hidden epidemic of chronic wounds,’ said Hayley Ryan. ‘It is a blueprint for all parties and candidates to introduce affordable, straightforward, evidence-based reforms to the health and aged care sectors.
‘Wounds Australia is surveying all candidates and parties about their policies and the programs they will commit to during the next term of parliament. We will release results and a ‘Report Card’ on each of them before Election Day.’
Ms Ryan says the results will be available online and distributed to over 13,000 clinicians around Australia to share in their workplaces, with colleagues and patients.
‘Embracing Wounds Australia proposals is good policy and good politics for all parties and candidates. They will save money and cut patient numbers,’ she said.
‘The constituency of nearly half a million Australians impacted directly by chronic wounds has sat in silence for every previous election.
‘They’ve had enough. Their carers and supporters have had enough. They are all watching and ready to cast their votes,’ said Hayley Ryan.
Wounds Australia’s 11 Point Plan and 2022-23 Federal Budget Submission are available at www.woundsaustralia.com.au.
- National Wound Services Scheme to subsidise wound products for people with venous leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, over 65s, and concession card holders.
- A national public health campaign on the warning signs and where to seek help.
- The introduction of wound care education modules into medical, allied health and aged care degrees, courses and other qualifications.
- Funding for the treatment of chronic wounds in primary health care.