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Transcript of doorstop in Sydney

Transcript of Minister for Health, Greg Hunt's doorstop in Sydney launching the InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Look, I’m delighted to be here with the New South Wales Minister Tanya Davies and all of the wonderful people here at the University of Sydney, who are supporting the launch of the InsideOut Institute for eating disorder research.

InsideOut is about bringing eating disorders into the light, providing the research and providing the treatment that so many people need to assist with this catastrophic and long-hidden disorder. Anorexia, bulimia, purging, all of the different eating disorders are widespread and they can be catastrophic and fatal.

We've been supporting it with funding, New South Wales has been supporting eating disorders work with funding. For us, it's now about going forward with additional support under Medicare and through mental health research. But today, above all else, is about giving our ambassadors the ability to say to the world, there is hope, there is recovery and there is support.


Thank you Greg, and today is a significant day for families and individuals struggling with eating disorders because, once again, New South Wales is leading the nation. Today we are establishing the nation's first research centre that will harness the cutting-edge knowledge, that together with federal and state government funding, will promote cutting-edge translational research into eating disorders that we know need to be delivered right throughout our communities.

We’re also co-branding with ambassadors to enable them to share their story of recovery and those individuals out there who are struggling with an eating disorder, it’s so important that the message is shared with family. That this condition can be treated, that people can recover from disorder and that there is hope. And I'm proud to stand here along with my federal colleague Greg Hunt to announce the rebranding of the Centre for Eating Disorders to InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders. Thank you.


Happy to take any questions.


Minister, can I just get you to go over this? As well as the institute today, there’s a few other things that are in train which will help patients with eating disorders. So you alluded to them in your talk. Can you just go through those for us?


So, at a federal level, we’ve been supporting the Butterfly Foundation with the telephone and online services ED HOPE. We’re also supporting the National Eating Disorders Collaboration, which is $1 million a year.

And then as we go forwards, there's $500,000 from the National Health and Medical Research Council for the research effort of InsideOut. We are now quite advanced in the work of the Medicare taskforce in expanding coverage under Medicare.

That's with the taskforce and they’ll make their clinical recommendations in the coming months. And then finally, under the Million Minds medical research mission, eating disorders will be an integral part of that proposal.


How do you think this institute will help raise the profile of eating disorders, like you say, to bring it out of the shadows?


To have one of the Southern Hemisphere’s leading universities have one of its leading institutions focus on eating disorders says it matters for academic work. It matters for practical clinical treatment. What does that actually mean? It means hope and treatment pathways for people who need it.


If I can just also add to your first question, the New South Wales Government began the service plan for people with eating disorders in 2013, and since that plan has commenced, we’ve seen across every local health district and speciality health network, eating disorder coordinators employed to actually work with the local communities and the hospitals to begin to train up clinicians.

To begin to identify clinical pathways for people who are suspected or diagnosed with an eating disorder. And we’ve also begun working very closely to enable the upskilling of 450 clinicians right across New South Wales to help them better identify, diagnose and begin their treatment pathways.


Yeah, just how is it actually going to lead to discussion about it? What sort of framework?


Well, nothing’s more important than our ambassadors. To have people such as Jana and Ash and Liam feel that they can talk in an open environment where they have the support. It says to other people, you can talk and seek help.

This is the pathway we’ve been through with anxiety and depression and bipolar, where role models and ambassadors have given so many others the confidence to seek help. Eating disorders, just because of the nature of them, have been behind the curve. Now, with this institute and these role models, and the support, that gives people the space to say ‘I can speak about my problem and I can seek the help that I need’. Alright, thank you very much.

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