Thursday, 18 October 2018
Statements by Members
World Osteoporosis Day
Today is World Osteoporosis Day. Osteoporosis is the fragile-bone disease that causes painful, debilitating and costly fractures, particularly on the hip and spine, and is something that affects a close member of my own family. Every year in Australia 165,000 fractures occur, often from just a minor bump or fall. This disease makes bones more brittle, leading to a higher risk of breaking a bone, and often leads to increased immobility and a loss of quality of life.
Osteoporosis is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Australia has one of the world's poorest rates for identifying and treating osteoporosis, with 80 per cent of women who have had a broken bone and who would qualify for osteoporosis treatment being neither investigated nor diagnosed. There are 5.5 million Australians over 50 years of age with poor bone health. In my electorate of Dunkley alone, 68 per cent of people over 50 years of age have poor bone health.
Osteoporosis costs the Australian health system $1 billion in federal funds for non-fracture osteoporosis costs, and $2.1 billion in state funds for fractures associated with osteoporosis. The total direct cost of fractures due to poor bone health is expected to be $21.9 billion from 2012-22. I'm pleased that the Minister for Health, Minister Hunt, is continuing to take this issue very seriously and encouraging further federal investment in this issue. Let's work together to take action on osteoporosis.