Nearly one in three people living with multiple sclerosis in Australia does not have access to nursing care depending on the condition, the advocacy organization says.
MS Australia on Tuesday released a report on MS Nurse Care in Australia, which surveyed 1,417 people with a neurological disease.
More than 31 percent of respondents said they do not have access to a nurse with multiple sclerosis.
Of these, about 13 percent said a nurse with multiple sclerosis was unavailable, while about 18 percent were unaware of the existence of a nurse with MS.
The President of the MS of Australia, Associate Professor Desmond Graham, said that there is an urgent need for greater government support, as there are approximately 90 nurses specializing in MS across the country.
The report found that people without a nurse who provided individual care for multiple sclerosis had consistently worse health outcomes.
“Nurses with MS reduce the need for people with MS without having to visit other, more expensive health professionals, such as physicians and neurologists,” the report said.
“And (it) seems to be cutting back on unnecessary presentations in the emergency department and possibly hospital admissions.”
Annual government spending of $ 5 million could fund nurses for 8,000 people without access, the report said, and reduce the total cost of their care for MS by $ 64 million a year.
Tasmanian Linda Hanlan, 56, has lived with RS for 15 years with a nurse nearby.
“It relieved my anxiety about relapses and minimized hospitalization,” she said.
“Just knowing that I can contact my nurse by phone, email or in person, I feel safe and supported, especially since they have gone through my journey and understand.”
More than 25,600 people in Australia live with MS. It is a common chronic neurological disease that is diagnosed among young people.
The report is taken from three surveys conducted in 2018-2020.