Three Million Reasons for a National Eczema Strategy
Eczema Support Australia has released a new report which reveals the devastating impact of eczema for nearly three million Australians – and is calling for a National Eczema Strategy.
Despite the high prevalence and burden of eczema in Australia, eczema is often dismissed as a superficial rash, leaving many to suffer in silence. The Burden of Eczema – The Evidence for a National Strategy Report reveals that nearly three million Australians are living with eczema, making it one of Australia’s most common chronic health conditions.
Eczema causes pain, distress and sleep disturbances leading to anxiety, depression and even suicidal ideation. Eczema also results in absenteeism from school and work, costing the economy $4 billion a year.
Despite this, many Australians struggle to see a specialist due to a nationwide shortage of dermatologists, leading to suboptimal care, including the underuse of topical corticosteroids resulting in avoidable disease flares.
The financial burden on Australians is considerable, including costs associated with hospital visits, creams and medications, leading three quarters of Australians with eczema to say they use savings, borrow money, and spend less on food and other essentials so they can pay for eczema management.
It is time for a long-term, nationwide plan to improve the care and management of Australians with eczema. Our Parliamentary Petition closes on 06 September 2023 11:59 PM (AEST).
After this date, we will be taking our fight to Canberra and speaking directly with government officials to demonstrate the need for a National Eczema Strategy.
We are delighted that The Australasian College of Dermatologists has contributed the foreword to our report which states: “A coordinated response will go a long way to ensuring all Australians with this condition have optimal and equitable access to treatment and care, which is why the College has no hesitation in commending this report – and the evidence for a National Eczema Strategy.”