The new report for MOVE, Everybody MOVE: Improving outcomes in musculoskeletal health**, found changing approaches to treatment and care could save hundreds of millions of dollars on healthcare and improve patient outcomes, increase awareness and productivity of consumers.
PwC senior partner James van Smeerdijk says a new approach is needed to the way we deal with these conditions. “At the moment we are spending billions of dollars, and patients are still not getting the best outcomes,” he says.
“If we fund only what works, increase awareness and update our approach to care delivery, it will go a long way towards getting Australians moving”
More than 700,000 people have been diagnosed with musculoskeletal conditions since the last report in 2013 – and that number is growing.
Whether it’s walking to the mail box, doing a bit of gardening or running a marathon the report says keeping physically active and socially connected is critical at all life stages.
Movement benefits everybody! While many people think these are conditions of old age, in fact 60% of people struggling with these conditions are aged between 25 – 64 years: only 32% of people are older than 65 years, and 8% are younger than 24 years.
MOVE Research and Knowledge manager, Ornella Clavisi, says it doesn’t matter how old a person is, there are ways to help improve people’s quality of life.
“When people are provided with information and support, they cope better and can still live full lives,” she says.
Orthopaedic Surgeon Professor Peter Choong says we need an agile health system funded on evidence based practice, with movement as a central element of care.
“It’s about having the right treatments, in the right place, at the right time – so patients achieve the best possible quality of life,” he says.
Australian Physiotherapy Association chief executive officer, Cris Massis, says there are many things people can do to help themselves.
“Helping people to move, manage pain and maintain a healthy weight will relieve pressure on hospitals and make a real difference to their lives,” he says.
Coinciding with the release of the report, a national public awareness campaign #PainfulTruths is showing why better outcomes are desperately needed for people living with musculoskeletal conditions.
The evidence on how to reduce costs and improve people’s lives is clear.
“MOVE stands with people living with these conditions, health professionals and government to implement these critical system-wide changes,” Ornella says.