President, Haemophilia Foundation Australia
As we prepare this September issue of National Haemophilia, HFA staff and the Program Committee are also finalising the program and logistics for the national Conference. Conference registrations have been strong, and I hope I will be reporting a very successful Conference in the December issue along with some reports of sessions that might interest people who were not able to attend.
Strong sponsorship and support for the Conference meant we could go ahead with it despite uncertainty around our government funding. HFA Council determined the Conference remains a very important stakeholder meeting and we took steps to make sure it was focused on community needs. I am pleased the Conference budget was also able to offer some financial support to help some delegates from different parts of Australia to attend.
The Conference theme of Working together, improving outcomes was chosen because we are at a point in the evolution of treatments where a range of options are needed so they can be tailored to the needs of individuals – no longer is it a case of ‘one treatment fits all’. The Conference will have served as a forum for discussing directions and strategies for the future and I welcome your opinions and experiences.
We remain optimistic that our advocacy to government and your direct support will have led to the reinstatement of Commonwealth government grants to HFA.
The uncertainty surrounding future government grants has made a difference to our current activities and ongoing sustainability. HFA is using reserves held for a different purpose to tide us over. HFA seeks government support to give it the capacity to continue to operate as a national peak body, provide advice about government policy from perspectives of people living with bleeding disorders and for some of its communications and health education. HFA is a key Information Partner around bleeding disorders with HealthDirect, which is funded by Australian governments to provide a national health information service to all Australians, and our evidence-based education resources and digital communications are critical for our community and our stakeholders.
At the time of writing this, I am pleased to report that we have had some productive discussions with government officials, the Minister for Health and Aged Care and Assistant Minister and look forward to a positive resolution.
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