Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (17:34): (1903) My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Health, and the action I am seeking relates to endometriosis. Endometriosis is an under-recognised disease that affects the wellbeing of so many. It is an inflammatory condition that most commonly strikes the reproductive organs, but it is also frequently found in the bowel and in the bladder. By the age of 44, one in nine women in Australia have been diagnosed with endometriosis. In many cases it starts in teenagers, and they experience a range of very painful pelvic symptoms. For most of them it takes nearly 10 years for that diagnosis to occur.
There are 35 000 endometriosis-related hospitalisations each year in Australia. The Australian government estimates the disease costs close to $10 billion a year. Two-thirds of that is in lost productivity, the rest is in health care. But our current health system lacks proper care pathways and evidence-based approaches to that delivery of care.
A trial underway at Barwon Health is already reducing hospitalisations via an interdisciplinary approach incorporating cognitive behaviour therapy, pelvic physiotherapy, yoga and education. Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the Julia Argyrou Endometriosis Centre at the Epworth. Now, they are not just delivering holistic patient-centred care for those with endometriosis, they are dedicated to actually finding a cure. The week before, I went to the women’s hospital and met with their researchers and saw the great work that they are doing in trying to work out ways to minimise the symptoms but also to treat endometriosis, and I think all of us want to find a way to stop the suffering. But it is time for this good work to stop working in silos, so the action I seek from the minister is that they develop and implement a Victorian endometriosis policy and strategy.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Adjournment matter 11/5/22