The Parliamentary Friends of Epilepsy Inquiry was held after a concerted lobbying effort by the Joint Epilepsy Council of Australia (JECA), of which the Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria is a member, to parliamentary representatives who have an interest in epilepsy.
We are pleased the report recognises that access to employment support services within government agencies is crucial in giving people with epilepsy opportunities to gain paid employment.
We are also pleased to see acknowledgement of the need for increased funding for initiatives such as awareness-raising campaigns, to reduce the ignorance and stigma associated with epilepsy, which can be a further major impediment to receiving a fair go in life, and for new research.
In particular, it is critical to have current data available, via the National Health Survey, on Australian demographics of people with epilepsy, as well as the incidence, diagnosis and treatment, rather than relying on extrapolation of overseas data. This will help local service providers to tailor services to meet real needs in line with growing demand in certain age groups.
More than 360 submissions to the Inquiry were received with submissions made by many people with epilepsy, their families and carers, as well as service providers, medical practitioners, specialists and others working in the epilepsy sector. This is a very high number for an Inquiry of this type, indicating the depth of interest in, and concern for, the condition and those who are affected by it. JECA thanks all those who supported this Inquiry.
Documents relating to the Inquiry can be downloaded here.