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Arthritis Australia E-Newsletter June 2014

     New Community Forum


      Time to Move: Arthritis strategy launched

      Short-sighted budget cuts will increase health costs in the long term


     CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - 2015 Arthritis Australia National Research Program

     Research Retrospective – Researching our Research 2006-2011

     New Council of Advice


     Hard to open food packaging - Tasmanian Health uses reports to help patients open food packaging

     NEW Multicultural Resources



New Community Forum

Do you have arthritis? Get answers and support at the new Arthritis Community Forum. You'll have access to an arthritis expert moderator and the chance to have your questions answered by clinical experts. No matter what kind of arthritis you have, there are sections where you can post your questions. 

Create an account today at

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Time to Move: Arthritis strategy launched


Sarah and Patrick McHarg’s moving speech about the challenges of living with JIA, at the launch of the Time to Move: Arthritis at Parliament House, Canberra

Wendy Favorito, Consumer Director on the Arthritis Australia Board, talks about living with rheumatoid arthritis.  
Members of Arthritis Australia’s Consumer Reference Group at the Time to Move launch: from left, Colette Smith (SA), Suzie May (WA), Helen Davies (ACT) and Wendy Favorito.  

On 24th March 2014, Arthritis Australia launched a new strategy to support better care for people with arthritis.  The highly successful launch was held at Parliament House in Canberra and was attended by more than 65 politicians, government officials, health consumers and representatives of health and medical organisations.

The new strategy, called Time to Move: Arthritis, was developed in response to growing evidence that too many Australians with arthritis are not receiving best practice care and are faring poorly.

The strategy covers the spectrum of care from prevention to advanced disease. Although the focus is on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, people with other forms of arthritis will also benefit from the strategy’s implementation.

People with arthritis, their carers and medical and allied health practitioners all provided input to the development of the strategy. Key recommendations include awareness raising strategies, improved education of health professionals, better education and support for people with arthritis to help them to self-manage their condition and access to multidisciplinary care.

Following the strategy launch Arthritis Australia has begun discussions with a range of stakeholder groups across the health sector to encourage and support the implementation of the Time to Move recommendations. The Time to Move Arthritis strategy provides an invaluable roadmap for improving care for people with arthritis, but the journey towards implementation has just begun.

To download copies of the Time to Move reports click the following link:

Time to Move: Arthritis;

Time to Move: Osteoarthritis;

Time to Move: Rheumatoid Arthritis; and

Time to Move: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

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Short-sighted budget cuts will increase health costs in the long term

Arthritis Australia has warned that cuts to health announced in the Federal Budget are a false economy which will force more people to go without essential medical care, leading to poorer health outcomes and driving higher costs to the health system in future. 

“Hitting patients with increased costs for doctor’s visits, tests and medicines may improve the budget bottom line in the short term, but is likely to prove counterproductive in the longer term, by stopping people going to the doctor or taking medicine when they need to,” said Ainslie Cahill, CEO of Arthritis Australia.  “This is likely to lead to more expensive complications and hospitalisations down the track.”

Ms Cahill said that those most in need of care would be the hardest hit.

“The impact of the new budget measures will be greatest on people with low incomes and those with chronic illnesses such as arthritis who need regular medical care to manage their condition and prevent it from getting worse.  These people are usually the least able to afford extra costs.

“We know that many people with arthritis already face significant financial hardship as a result of the costs of managing their condition, often compounded by lower incomes because their arthritis has forced them to reduce their working hours or leave the workforce early,” Ms Cahill said. “The extra costs imposed by this budget will be an enormous blow and a huge barrier to accessing appropriate care.”

In addition to raising its concerns with the government, Arthritis Australia has made a submission to a Senate Inquiry which is currently reviewing the issue of out-of-pocket healthcare costs in Australia

If you would like to provide any information on your current out-of-pocket costs associated with managing arthritis please contact Franca Marine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  




CALL FOR APPLICATIONS - 2015 Arthritis Australia National Research Program

Applications close: Friday 4 July 2014

Applications for musculoskeletal research grants (12 months) valued between $10,000 and $50,000 are now open.

Awards are available for clinical, scientific and allied health professionals who work in universities, hospitals or recognised research institutes. The objectives of the research and professional education program are:

  • To support specific research projects into arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders
  • To support and foster the career development of scientists and clinical investigators committed to research into arthritis and allied disorders

Categories include:

  • Fellowships
  • Scholarship
  • Project Grants and Grants in Aid

For a complete list on what’s on offer in 2015, guidelines and application form please visit our website Arthritis Australia National Research Program


Research Retrospective – Researching our Research 2006-2011

We know that Arthritis Australia research is highly valued by the public and philanthropic community. Strong and growing support from our various benefactors to our research fund is testament to this. What we haven’t been able to articulate, until now, is exactly what our research funding has delivered, and promises to deliver, for people with arthritis. [Read more]

In the past 18 months, we have worked on the Research Retrospective project to assess the grants funded by Arthritis Australia over a six year period (2006-2011) and to develop the Researching our Research Report and Research Case Studies. We set out to assess, as objectively as possible, the many benefits and achievements that our research investment has produced, and has the potential to deliver into the future. The Researching our Research report represents the first in-depth evaluation of the impacts of Arthritis Australia’s research funding. The results have been extremely encouraging and, compared to a UK model of benchmarking, we can demonstrate that our seed-funding approach has initiated many important research projects and established the careers of some highly creative and visionary researchers.

The commitment and innovative spirit of Arthritis Australia’s researchers was a stand-out finding of the Research Retrospective survey. Projects as diverse as the trial of a drug to halt the development of osteoarthritis, an analysis of the burdens of arthritis on Australian women, and the establishment of a ‘biobank’ to help find the causes of childhood arthritis have all been kick-started with funding from Arthritis Australia.

The Research Case Studies serve to put faces to some of Arthritis Australia’s most successful research stories over recent years. These projects and many more continue to develop and move closer to their goal of improving the lives of people with arthritic disease. This knowledge will also help us to shape funding policy and build a long-term research funding strategy for Arthritis Australia, delivering real results for arthritis sufferers well into the future.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the researchers who contributed to the Research Retrospective Project.


To view Researching our research 2006-2011 click the following link:

Researching our research 2006-2011


To view Research Case Studies 2006-2011 click the following link:

Research case studies 2006-2011


New Council of Advice

From back: Andrew Walker (TAS),  Irene Froyland (WA), David Graham (ACT), Kristine Riethmiller (Arthritis Australia Board member), Hilary Fowler (NT), Ian Dover (QLD) and Colette Smith (SA)


We would like to welcome our new Council of Advice members who represent our State/Territory Affiliates and who will be providing advice to the Arthritis Australia Board on various consumer needs and issues. Their first meeting was held Monday, 12 May. 




Hard to open food packaging

Tasmanian Health uses reports developed by Arthritis Australia to help patients open food packaging

Hard to open food packaging can be a source of frustration for all consumers, but it is also a barrier to nutrition in hospitals. If patients cannot open or easily access food packaging, it contributes to a loss of independence, longer hospitals stays and complications. The Tasmanian Dept. of Health & Human Services (Tasmanian Health) has taken action to improve all food packaging for patients in hospitals by building on work performed by NSW Health and Arthritis Australia. 

Tasmanian Health included a requirement for food suppliers to submit food packaging evaluation reports performed by Arthritis Australia in a recent food tender. Arthritis Australia and NSW Health developed a packaging report known as the Initial Scientific Review (ISR) in collaboration with Nestle and Georgia Tech. The ISR provides an assessment of packaging which estimates the percentage of the population who will be able to open packaging, identify design issues and provide solutions for improvements. NSW Health shared ISR reports for over 100 food products with Tasmanian Health and Arthritis Australia performed additional ISR reports for local Tasmanian and national food suppliers. This will enable Tasmanian Health to select easy to open packaging, help patients to increase their food intake and frail and elderly patients to open packaging without having to ask for assistance.


NEW Multicultural Resources


As part of our regular yearly resources review, our set of 65 translated information sheets in Arabic, Italian, Chinese (Cantonese), Greek and Vietnamese were updated earlier this year and 30 new information sheets in Spanish, Korean, Persian, Macedonian and Croatian have been created.

The topics include: What is arthritis, Dealing with pain, Healthy eating and physical activity, Medicines and arthritis, Working with your healthcare team, Methotrexate, NSAIDs, Gout, Paracetamol, Complementary therapies, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Fish oil and Glucosamine & chondroitin.

The sheets provide condition-specific information as well as tips about pain relief, improving lifestyle, how to be more physically proactive in managing arthritis and medicines available to control of your arthritis.

To downloaded these information sheets please visit our website: Multicultural information sheets



We welcome your feedback about any of the information provided in this e-newsletter. Please forward any comments to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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