Take action and write to your local Member of Parliament or Senator
Over 250,000 Australians already live with ME/CFS, a debilitating post-viral condition that leaves many unable to work, housebound or bedbound, and costs our economy over $14BN a year.
A Deakin University study suggests up to 325,000 more may develop Long COVID, described by health experts as ‘strikingly similar’ to ME/CFS in its symptoms, pathology and devastating impact on people’s lives. That’s almost 600,000 Australians who could soon be living with post-viral diseases.
Our health system has long struggled to diagnose, manage and create health pathways for those with ME/CFS. We are nowhere near prepared for the number of Australians with post-viral disease to more than double in just a few months, and nowhere near ready for the impact it will have on our health services, workforce and the economy.
Australia must act now, before this tsunami hits.
Emerge Australia has been supporting Australians living with ME/CFS for over 40 years and has identified the five most urgent things our policymakers need to address to prepare for the coming surge in post-viral diseases.
Read the State of the Nation: Because people with ME/CFS matter
Emerge Australia, the national patient organisation providing services and evidence-based education about myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) today issued an alert on a potential major hit to the Federal Budget and health services facing both major parties.
Our policymakers must prepare now for the coming economic, health and social impacts of ME/CFS, Long COVID and other post-viral diseases.
250,000 Australians already live with ME/CFS and Deakin University predicts up to 325,000 more may develop Long COVID in the coming months. The human cost of post-viral diseases is obviously paramount, but the economic cost is also potentially devastating.
For years, our health system has systemically neglected and failed to meet the needs of those with ME/CFS. If the number of Australians with post-viral disease more than doubles, health services could be overwhelmed and our economy smashed - ME/CFS alone costs an estimated $14.8bn a year in healthcare and lost productivity.
There is currently no known cure for post-viral diseases such as ME/CFS and Long COVID. Early and accurate diagnosis is critical. General awareness of how to diagnose ME/CFS is limited in Australia. Emerge Australia has developed a comprehensive GP Education program but significant, long-term investment is required for implementation.
Emerge Australia strongly advocates for the Australian ME/CFS Clinical Guidelines to be updated to remove GET and CBT as recommended treatment options in the recently released report, State of the Nation: Because people with ME/CFS matter.
Use ME/CFS knowledge to inform Long COVID and post-viral disease research. The burden of disease for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is significant because the condition is so disabling.
The NDIS aims to give people with disabilities choice and control over the services and support they receive but many people living with ME/CFS face significant challenges accessing the scheme. In our recently released report State of the Nation: Because people with ME/CFS matter, Emerge Australia recommends the NDIA and Centrelink implement three key actions to improve assessment accuracy.