JAFA welcomes the inclusion of $800,000 in the 2023-24 federal budget to undertake work on awareness and health professional education with a focus on reducing delays in diagnosis.
This is the result of a combination of ongoing, prioritised advocacy by JAFA and internal advocacy by Assistant Health Minister, the Hon Ged Kearney and JAFA friend and champion Dr Mike Freelander MP, and is a recommendation of the 2022 Parliamentary Inquiry into Childhood Rheumatic Diseases.
JAFA is also grateful to Health Minister, the Hon Mark Butler and his staff for securing this funding in such a difficult economic environment.
We believe this is the first stand-alone federal budget allocation for juvenile arthritis. This small but significant funding signals a very welcome step in government action to bring attention and resources for these children closer to equivalent chronic childhood diseases.
JAFA welcomes this funding and will continue its political advocacy for policy change to improve the diagnosis and care of juvenile arthritis and childhood rheumatic diseases until it is no longer necessary.