CEED welcomes the announcement made by the Federal Government on Sunday 9th December of funding for a new Medicare Item number for eating disorders for up to 40 psychotherapeutic sessions and 20 dietetic sessions for those with serious eating disorders. While we are still to learn further details of the proposal, this investment provides welcome recognition of the seriousness of eating disorders and the devastating consequences they have on sufferers and their families.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “One of the things we have to do is raise the level of awareness about this and the understanding that it is real. It is real. We are pleased to do our bit, to step up and do our part. It is our commitment. I’m so glad that Greg has seized upon this and made that happen.” Health Minister Greg Hunt echoed his remarks saying, “Today is about saving lives and protecting lives. This is the day Australia says we hear, we get it and it will never be the same again.”
Jana Pittman, InsideOut Ambassador, who has a lived experience of an eating disorder herself for many years, presented the reality of living with an eating disorder and noted the impact on her family – “My main concern is that no one else has to endure what I did, having an illness that was stigmatised, hidden, shameful and with very few available treatment options that I could see or find”
Fiona Ryan, mother of Tess Ryan who lost her life to an eating disorder, spoke incredibly eloquently about the experience of caring for someone with an eating disorder, spending five long years trying to save her daughter’s life. Tessa lost her battle with anorexia nervosa at the age of 17.
CEED will continue to be a strong advocate for clinicians and services and contribute our voice to the planning and execution of this initiative, in particular reflecting how this can best intersect with our public services who provide such excellent eating disorders care.