From Dr Sarah Maguire at InsideOut Institute:
I’m overjoyed to share with you the news today that the Federal Government has announced increased funding to eating disorder research and treatment. This marks an historical turning point for the more than one million Australians living with eating disorders.
InsideOut Institute will receive $4m over 3.5 years to develop the nation’s first hub for research and translation in eating disorders. The funding will go towards clinical innovation through research translation, and to building capacity nationally. InsideOut has multiple innovative research projects underway. We are looking for the gene for Anorexia Nervosa, we are trialing e-therapies and searching for innovative neurobiological treatments. We are also conducting much needed health system research to determine how we translate evidence into everyday practice by clinicians throughout the health services.
In addition, the Federal Government has also announced an estimated $110M reform of Medicare to urgently align with the research for treatment of eating disorders. A specific item number will be created for eating disorders, increasing the number of rebated psychological sessions from 10 to up to 40 in any calendar year, under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), and rebated dietetic sessions will also increase to up to 20 in any one year. This is a significant movement towards evidence-based change in the treatment provided to individuals with eating disorders.
The announcement was made by the Prime Minister, The Hon. Scott Morrison MP in his announcement today said “One of the things we have to do, is raise the level of awareness about this [eating disorders], and the understanding that it is real. It is real. Minister Hunt, Minister for Health, echoed his remarks saying “Today is about saving lives and protecting lives. This is the day Australia says, we hear, we get it, and it will never be the same again,” Mr Hunt said.
Jana Pittman, InsideOut’s Ambassador, shared her experience with an eating disorder at the event, highlighting the imperative for research and innovation. “My main concern is that no one else has to endure what I did, having an illness that was stigmatised, hidden, shameful and with very few available treatment options that I could see or find.”
InsideOut is uniquely positioned to become the bridge between research and clinical care. Through our research stream, our suite of evidence based workforce training programs and with this funding to develop strategy, structures and novel mechanisms to ensure translation, we will improve outcomes for people with the illness and reduce unnecessary deaths.
We want to expand and expediate our efforts into finding and delivering treatments that work. There is so much more to be done.
With much excitement from,
Dr Sarah Maguire
and the team at InsideOut Institute