A campaign by Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP for a compression garment subsidy for lymphoedema suffers in South Australia has received a positive outcome with an announcement by Health & Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade this week.
“The new scheme, announced by Minister Wade, provides for 100 percent subsidy for eligible people, enabling access for up to two sets of garments as clinically required, every six months,” Mr Brock said.
Mr Brock wrote to Mr Wade in February last year outlining his concerns that the State’s lymphoedema sufferers were struggling to manage their condition due to the high cost of these compression garments, which help bring swelling under control.
“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,” Mr Brock said.
The condition causes swelling of certain parts of the body, because of the problems with the lymphatic system, but tend to target arms and legs of sufferers, affecting mobility and causing severe pain.
The garments need to be worn every day and require frequent, and up until now, expensive replacement which could cost sufferers more than $3,500 a year to replace.
“I am thrilled for the people of South Australia, and particularly those in my electorate, who will receive support to purchase these vital garments to help manage their condition,” Mr Brock said.
“I was alerted to the issue through a constituent and have been lobbying the State Government for this support, which will be implemented throughout this coming financial year as part of a phased roll out.
“I know those with this condition have greeted the good news with enthusiasm and I am pleased at this positive outcome,” Mr Brock said.
Phase 1 will include eligible people living in the Flinders and Upper North region of the state as well as Central Adelaide, Northern Adelaide and the Limestone Coast Local Health Networks.
People eligible through private prescribers will also be able to access subsidised compression garments as part of phase 1.
Implementation across the remaining Local Health Networks will occur from September 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, enabling training of relevant staff.