Illawarra eating disorders consultations must be wide says MP


Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has called on the State Government to ensure that consultations to develop the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Eating Disorders Services Plan (the Plan) are as wide as possible to ensure patients and their families have the best possible access to health services in the region.

Ms Watson has raised the issue of eating disorders in the Illawarra numerous times in the State Parliament over the last two years and asked the Minister for Mental Health a series of questions in this time.

“I’m not satisfied that the Illawarra has comparable services to treat eating disorders as the Hunter region.

“For example, the Hunter has an Adult Eating Disorder Day Program at Fletcher House, but the Illawarra doesn’t.

“I simply won’t accept that the third largest regional area in the State should be left out of treatment services which are clearly expanding in other regional areas”, she said.

Ms Watson said the she was surprised to learn that the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District had convened an Eating Disorders project Forum on 15 October, which is part of the development of the Plan.

“There wasn’t much publicity given to the convening of this Forum, and while I certainly welcome the fact it took place, I just want to make sure the Government ensures the widest possible consultation process takes place so all patients and their families in the region have their say on the need for services.

“I acknowledge that this is a very difficult and complex area, and I recognise that the Government has recently published a comprehensive NSW Service Plan for People with Eating Disorders 2013-2018.

“I will continue to raise it with the Government until the Illawarra region has comparable access to service as is enjoyed in the Hunter region”, Ms Watson said.

Recent statistics have revealed that up to 5,000 young people aged between 10 and 24 years in the Illawarra are living with eating disorders.

27 October 2014