Government called to support lymphoedema treatment

Member for Frome Geoff Brock is calling for State Government support for services and subsidies to help South Australians with lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema affects about 300,000 Australians at some stage of their life, with breast cancer survivors often facing this condition after lymph nodes are removed or damaged during surgery and radiation therapy.

The condition causes swelling of certain parts of the body, because of problems with the lymphatic system, but tends to target the arms and legs of sufferers, affecting mobility and causing severe pain.

“Most patients manage the condition through the use of compression garments to help bring the swelling under control, but these garments are costly, need to be worn every day and require frequent and expensive replacement,” Mr Brock said.

“Currently, South Australia is the only State in the nation which does not subsidise the cost of compression garments, which can cost sufferers more than $3,500 a year to replace.”

Mr Brock has corresponded with Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade on the issue and has, together with other MPs, raised the matter in Parliament, calling on the Government to introduce a subsidy scheme.

“I wrote to the Minister back in August last year asking for the Marshall Liberal Government to reinforce its commitment to progress development of a business case for the compression garment subsidy and designated public lymphoedema services.

“I spoke to the Minister again last week regarding the progress of the business case and funding options for the subsidy and am hopeful of a positive and timely outcome,” Mr Brock said.

“It is important for the heath and wellbeing of South Australian lymphoedema sufferers that they have access to the same level of subsidies to assist in managing their conditions as residents from all other States.”