Dear PM ,
Congratulations on your resounding success on Saturday 7th September. I am writing to implore you not to see the money going to the Continence Management Scheme as a soft target for spending cuts. Yes I understand that NOBODY is going to complain about the loss of funds – because that would mean owning up to a problem which, despite affecting over 4 million Australians- men, women and children alike- is a rather big secret that most people don’t speak of.
The role of the Continence Foundation of Australia is to spread the word about the simple management strategies that can be undertaken to prevent urinary and faecal incontinence- and those education programmes, the printed leaflets and the CFA Helpline- all these things cost money….money well spent, especially with Australia’s aging population. A Deloitte Access Economics report commissioned a few years ago put the cost of incontinence in Australia at $40 billion – every dollar invested in education WILL reward you handsomely – cost of pads, laundry, inability to work, loss of productivity, surgery costs, psychological assistance……the list goes on.
The Department of Health and Aging over the past few years have been incredible in their support of Continence Promotion- we now have a Health Promotions Officer in Queensland and Tracey is tireless in organizing public events to spread the word. The public when they attend these forums are so positive with their praise of the education sessions, and yes it does even save lives. One of the women who attended a forum decided to seek help after attending and found out her urinary frequency was in fact due to bladder cancer. Tracey, and the Australian Government funding of CFA, saved that lady’s life! A really good news story!
All of us, any of us, may need this information at some stage – even the fittest man can have a need for prostate surgery and have a continence issue afterwards. It doesn’t have to be just the woman following childbirth, the child who is bed wetting or the athlete running marathons. It can strike us when we’re least expecting it and it is very distressing- let me tell you- I don’t have the tissues next to my desk to touch up my makeup!
So when you sit down to do the sums in the next couple of weeks- remember preventative medicine is important!
Can you let Joe in on this please?
Kind regards, Sue Croft
cc Mr Joe Hockey
Dear PM ,