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Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Parkinson’s Australia is calling for a $2.5 million investment by the Federal Government to fund a campaign to GPs with messaging on the early warning signs of Parkinson’s and a national public awareness campaign about the motor and non-motor symptoms experienced by people living with Parkinson’s - originally presented to them in a Pre-Budget Submission in January.

Last month Parkinson’s Australia held a series of meetings with key Federal Government representatives to reinforce this message. Jeff Smart, diagnosed at 50 in the prime of his working life, told politicians about his story of finding it difficult to get a diagnosis and the anxiety that caused him.

“After finally getting a diagnosis, I was able to introduce things into my daily routine that helps manage my Parkinson’s. I am fitter and exercise more now, I look after what I eat making sure I have a lot of green vegetables and the fact that I’m aware of non-motor symptoms such as anxiety, means I am better equipped to manage it.”, he said.

Like Jeff, early diagnosis and early intervention leads to better management of the condition - for the individual, their families and loved ones. It also has a positive impact on our economy and health system.

Symptom management from a team of allied health professionals and access to support can help to slow the progression of Parkinson’s and improve overall quality of life. This reduces falls risks and presentations to emergency departments, allows people to live independently at home, remain in the workforce and live well with the condition

Prof. George Mellick, Parkinson’s Australia President, said: “there is an urgent need for endorsed, consistent and up-to-date information and education for GPs and Allied Health Professionals to ensure the earliest possible diagnosis of Parkinson’s, accompanied with the knowledge and awareness to confidently implement evidence-based treatment and management options. The $2.5m is a modest ask from Parkinson’s Australia to the Federal Government in this budget to achieve an outcome that will have a positive impact for people living with Parkinson’s and their families.”

Parkinson’s Australia advocates for the 150,000 people living with Parkinson’s and their families.

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