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New health program to tackle chronic disease in South East Queensland

New health program to tackle chronic disease in South East Queensland

04.10.2017

South East Queenslanders are set to benefit from a $27 million healthy lifestyle program in a bid to combat chronic disease.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick was joined by the Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard and Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden in Ipswich today to officially launch the My Health for Life program rollout for the greater Brisbane region.

The launch opens the program to eligible participants in the state’s South East corner following the program’s launch in regional Queensland earlier this year.

Backed by $27 million in Palaszczuk Government funding over four years, Mr Dick said My Health for Life was designed to stem the tide of chronic disease by targeting people at highest risk of chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

“My Health for Life is a proactive, evidence-based program supporting Queenslanders to address those health and lifestyle factors that put them at real risk of developing future illness,” he said.

“As part of our Advancing health 2026 10-year vision, we want Queenslanders to be among the healthiest people in the world, and rolling out this program across the South East is another strong step towards achieving this goal.”

Mr Dick said although it was early days, the program had already received positive feedback after launching in other regions.

“Participants are reporting weight loss, increased levels of physical activity and improved mental wellbeing, and some have even referred to the program as personally life changing, so from everything we are hearing, we know this program is both efficient and effective in making real change happen for Queenslanders,” he said.

Ms Howard said My Health for Life recognised that everyone has their own motivation for wanting to be healthy and the program’s design was a practical fit for Ipswich residents looking to make a change for the better.

“Around 20,000 adults in the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service either have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, and adult obesity in this region is around 42 per cent higher than the state average, so we know change is needed,” she said.

“This program is flexible, offering participants the choice of group sessions in their local area or personalised telephone coaching to help them stay on track to achieve their health goals and maintain healthier lifestyles.”

Mr Madden said he was proud to be part of a government which had invested in a range of preventative health initiatives to empower Queenslanders on their health journey and create healthier communities right across the state, including in the Ipswich area.

“This program will play an important role in supporting at-risk residents to get their health back on track and gain and maintain active and healthy lives,” he said.

Around 60 Queenslanders are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every day. Cardiovascular disease is the second largest cause of death in Queensland and stroke claims the lives of 10,000 people across the nation every year.

My Health for Life has been developed by the Healthier Queensland Alliance, which is led by Diabetes Queensland and includes the Heart Foundation, Stroke Foundation, Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and Queensland’s Primary Health Networks.

Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute said the health alliance welcomed the release of the program into Brisbane and surrounding areas.

“I think it will have broad appeal for Queenslanders living in the South East who are looking for something different,’’ she said.

“They know they need to make some changes in their life but just want a bit of help getting there or need the flexibility this program offers to make it fit with their lifestyle.”

Ms Trute encouraged GPs, pharmacists and other health professionals to get behind the program.

“The organisations that belong to the health alliance have been working in this space for some time, so we are delighted to be part of a program that works alongside GPs and other local health professionals,” she said.

“Instead of everyone trying to do a bit, we can combine efforts to achieve a stronger outcome.

“In the end, it is the community that reaps the benefits.”

To take part in the program, call 13 RISK (13 7475) to check your eligibility, or ask your local GP or pharmacist to refer you.