ACT Legislative Assembly

Current e-Petition

Subject:Starving for Services - Lack of Eating Disorder Services in the ACT
Eligibility:Residents of ACT
Sponsoring Member:Dr Marisa Paterson MLA
Principal Petitioner:Kate Steen
Number of Signatures:689
Posting Date:24/08/2021
Closing Date:23/11/2021

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TO: The Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly
The following residents of the ACT draw to the attention of the Assembly:

People with eating disorders in the ACT are unable to access adequate treatment options. There are no in-patient services for eating disorder treatment in Canberra.

There is one free specialised outpatient treatment option in the ACT - the Eating Disorders Program - which, despite the best efforts of a dedicated team, has a wait list of up to 12 months.

Eating disorders affect approximately 4 in every 100 people in Australia. At the end of 2020, the ACT's population was 431,484. Around 17,259 Canberrans could be living with an eating disorder.

The mortality rate for people with eating disorders is up to six times higher than that for people without eating disorders. The increased risk of premature death exists for all types of eating disorders, however people living with anorexia nervosa have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric conditions.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the Assembly to call upon the Government to:

- update the Assembly about progress on the ACT Government's 'Eating Disorder Position Statement'

- refresh the 'Position Statement' considering the 'Project Agreement for the Community Health and Hospitals Program Australian Capital Territory Initiatives' with the Commonwealth Government which commits to establishing a community-based residential eating disorder treatment centre.

- detail actions that have been taken to improve access for more patients to the Eating Disorders Program

- commit to reviewing demand and backlog to ensure appropriate resourcing and support for the Eating Disorders Program.

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