Date published: 
13 July 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government will support young people with advanced kidney disease, who have received a kidney transplant, to transition into adult healthcare under a new program.

Kidney Health Australia will receive $800,000 to establish a social and educational support program for the 500 young people aged 15 to 24 with advanced kidney disease who have received a kidney transplant.

These young people have to transition from paediatric services to adult healthcare usually around the age of 18 and start managing complex treatment and medication requirements associated with kidney transplantation or dialysis.

This age group is considered particularly at-risk because they struggle making the transition and as a result have poorer health outcomes and a higher rate of kidney graft failure than any other age group.

The program is specifically designed to help young people make this often difficult shift to adult health care.

It includes a number of initiatives, including an online forum to allow affected young people to share advice and face-to-face activities to bring affected young people together and encourage social support networks.

A new helpline support service will also be established and new educational resources relating to kidney replacement therapy will be developed.

The Turnbull Government is also providing $170,000 to Kidney Health Australia for the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for Kidney Disease, which will help identify ways to address the impact of kidney disease on the broader community.

There are almost 24,000 Australians with treated chronic kidney disease, including more than 11,100 people with a transplant and more than 12,700 people receiving dialysis.

The Plan will set the direction to achieve key goals and set priorities for kidney disease and identify specific actions to achieve each goal.

Extensive consultation will be conducted with patients, experts, policy makers, and state and territory health departments, which will result in recommendations for action that are supported by robust evidence.

Kidney Health Australia will also bring together experts and stakeholders to participate in a kidney disease roundtable which will help set direction for the Plan.

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has invested more $30 million through in National Health and Medical Research Council grants for clinical research into kidney and renal conditions.