Patients welcome new action plan for osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis Australia (OA) has welcomed the announcement of a new National Strategic Action Plan on Osteoporosis.

Health minister Greg Hunt announced the $4 million plan to coincide with World Osteoporosis Day on Sunday (20 October).

Almost five million Australians over the age with 50 currently live with poor bone health. According to OA, in 2019 the cost of osteoporosis will reach over $2.1 billion – 70 per cent of which will be directly related to fracture costs.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Hunt described the launch of the action plan as a "significant step" in improving the quality of life for Australians living with poor bone health and reducing the substantial financial burden that osteoporosis has on the Australian healthcare system.

“The Action Plan addresses the urgent need for a national strategic response to the challenges and burden of osteoporosis across Australia," he said.

"It will focus on increased awareness, education and prevention of osteoporosis, including improved diagnosis and management, and care of people with, or at risk of, osteoporosis. The Government is allocating $4 million to support implementation of the Action Plan.”

OA says approximately 66 per cent of Australians aged over 50 have poor bone health. Hip fractures remain the costliest type of fracture related to osteoporosis. Other types of fractures remain widespread – wrist, spinal, arm and leg fractures.

"This is an exciting outcome for osteoporosis prevention, as this is the first time osteoporosis has received the attention it deserves," said OA CEO Greg Lyubomirsky.