Wed 03, Feb 2021
With 6.2 million Australians set to be affected by incontinence by 2030, the Continence Foundation of Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission calls for an urgent action plan.
“One in four Australians are currently affected by incontinence, and it has long-term effects on both physical and emotional health,” Continence Foundation of Australia CEO, Rowan Cockerell, says.
In 2010, incontinence was estimated to cost Australia 67 billion dollars annually.
Despite the growing prevalence of incontinence, there is currently no funding commitment or action plan from the Federal Government beyond June 2021.
The Continence Foundation of Australia’s submission outlines how strategic action in the 2021-22 Budget would improve quality of life of all Australians, but particularly for older people and people with disability.
“We know increased access to preventative health care can make a difference to Australians, as well as deliver economic benefits to the Federal Government through reduced burden of disease costs associated with incontinence,” Mrs Cockerell says.
The Foundation says a new National Strategy on Incontinence will ensure Australia can meet the needs of future challenges, including urgent sector reforms arising from the Aged Care and Disability Royal Commissions and changing demographics.
“Prioritising incontinence prevention and improving continence care will reduce residential aged care admissions prompted by bladder and bowel health,” Mrs Cockerell says.
“Incontinence is a major contributor for a person to leave home and enter aged care. Research tells us that once they’re there, their chance of experiencing incontinence quickly goes up.”
This is echoed by evidence given to both the Aged Care and Disability Royal Commissions, where continence care is a pressing issue.
The pre-budget submission proposes a focus on four key areas: maximising national awareness, boosting workforce capacity, economic participation and ongoing research.
The Foundation looks forward to working with the Australian Government to deliver improved health outcomes for all Australians.