National Health Priority number 9!

National Health Priority number 9!

By Yasmin Noone

Federal and state health ministers have finally succumbed to the demands of the sector and the needs of the thousands of Australians, having officially agreed to make dementia a National Health Priority Area (NHPA).

The nation's health ministers, who gathered for a meeting of the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Committee in Sydney on Friday, have designated dementia as the ninth National Health Priority Area, along side eight other priority areas like asthma, mental health, cardiovascular health and obesity.

The motion was put forward by federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, who jointly argued the case to make dementia the ninth NHPA, saying the condition is predicted to become the leading cause of disability in less than four years.

“Today 280,000 Australians live with dementia and by 2050 that figure will have risen to more than one million,” said Mr Butler on Friday.

“This presents major challenges for health and aged care services.”

Mr Butler added that spending on dementia beyond 2060 is set to outstrip that of any health condition, with expenditure due to top $80 billion by 2062-63.

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