JAFA welcomes ground-breaking Parliamentary Report into Childhood Rheumatic Diseases

This ground-breaking Inquiry was instigated by JAFA and conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health Aged Care and Sport.  Between December 2021 and March 2020, the Committee received written submissions and heard evidence in Public Hearings from over 130 families and organisations. The Inquiry’s fifteen recommendations were tabled in Parliament on March 31, 2022 called for a tripling of the paediatric rheumatology workforce by 2030, and provide a blueprint for government investment to lift services for affected children and their families to equitable levels with other similarly serious chronic childhood conditions.  

Led by MPs Mr Trent Zimmerman and Dr Mike Freelander, the Inquiry has made 15 recommendations. They are necessarily ambitious and comprehensive in scope – tackling, for example, persistent structural problems related to insufficient funding for specialist workforce capability and training. Specific recommendations include:

  • Funding to provide training programs to triple the number of paediatric rheumatologists in Australia by 2030;
  • Establishment of multidisciplinary centres in major capital cities to support the expansion of allied health for paediatric rheumatology, including specialist nursing services; and
  • Establishment of a ‘hub and spoke’ model with outreach clinics for rural, regional and remote areas to ensure equitable care can be provided to all children with rheumatic disease in Australia.

JAFA sincerely thanks the Committee’s Chair, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, and Co-chair, Dr Mike Freelander MP, for their leadership and compassion in shining a light on the plight of the 6,000 – 10,000 children across Australia with these painful, autoimmune diseases.  

Thank you for the many individual submissions made and to those who appeared at the hearings along with the input to JAFA’s submission by many in the JA community.
You can find the full report at the link below:


Download the Media Release here