Osteoporosis Australia welcomes bi-partisan Federal Ministerial Roundtable on fracture prevention

Federal Ministerial roundtable putting patient care in the spotlight to help curb broken bones ahead of World Osteoporosis Day

Kerri-Anne Kennerley & Cathy Freeman OAM to encourage politicians & the community to “Know Your Bones”


Australians will sustain up to 160,000 broken bones (fractures) this year due to poor bone health, with costs reaching more than $3.1 billion – 70 per cent of which will be directly related to fracture costs.  

A bi-partisan Ministerial Roundtable will be staged at Parliament House, Canberra today (Thursday, October 19, 2017) between 7:30-8:30am, in the lead up to World Osteoporosis Day (Friday, October 20), to review the impact of osteoporosis in Australia and investigate strategies for fracture prevention.

The Ministerial Roundtable on Osteoporosis and Fracture Liaison Services, to be co-hosted by The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Aged Care and The Hon Julie Collins MP, Shadow Minister for Ageing, will involve medical experts and key representatives from national patient, medical and government organisations. World Osteoporosis Day Ambassadors, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Cathy Freeman OAM will also encourage politicians and their respective constituents to “Know Your Bones” with a photo call at Parliament House later today.

According to Osteoporosis Australia CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky, too many Australians are unnecessarily breaking bones, which is impacting the patient, their family and the healthcare system.

“We cannot allow so many Australians to be affected by broken bones. We must take action to prevent fractures. This bi-partisan, Federal Ministerial Roundtable is a very positive and welcome step in our call for action.”

Professor Mark Cooper, Deputy Chair of the Osteoporosis Australia Medical Committee said “we have patients leaving hospitals after sustaining a fracture who are not routinely investigated for osteoporosis. We also have members of our community living with osteoporosis risk factors, who are not having a bone mineral density test. This must change so that we can prevent fractures.”

A broken bone is a medical emergency, and after repairing a costly fracture, for any patient over 50, we need to be asking…why did it happen?, according to Mr Lyubomirsky.

“Fractures are mostly caused by osteoporosis in people aged over 50. Yet only 20 per cent of these patients are currently being investigated. Therefore, most patients are not being diagnosed, and remain unaware of their underlying health issue.

“Today’s Federal Ministerial Roundtable will review the impact of osteoporosis and strategies, such as fracture liaison services, to reduce the number of Australians breaking bones. It’s very encouraging to see bi-partisan support for achieving better patient outcomes,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

Osteoporosis Australia will invite all Federal MPs and Senators to wear a “Know Your Bones” lapel pin in  Federal Parliament today. All Federal MPs and Senators will be invited to the House of Representatives Courtyard,  27 M/L of Parliament House at 3.00pm today, for a photo call with World Osteoporosis Day Ambassadors,  Gold Logie Award winner, Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Olympic Gold Medallist, Cathy Freeman. Both Ambassadors will urge politicians to shine the spotlight on bone health in their respective electorates, and encourage their constituents to visit Know Your Boneswww.knowyourbones.org.auan online bone health self-assessment tool developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

“I was blessed with strong bones, although my mother had osteoporosis, but having taken drugs to fight breast cancer, those drugs leached my bones, so I found myself osteopenic, which is the stage before osteoporosis,” said Ms Kennerley.                          

“Find out early and be aware is my best advice.”                                                                                                                                     

“As with many chronic conditions, prevention is better than a cure. Exercise, particularly weight bearing and resistance exercise, is recognised as one of the most effective lifestyle strategies to help make bones as strong as possible,” Ms Freeman OAM said.

Currently 66 per cent of the population aged over 50 is estimated to have poor bone health. Hip fractures remain the most costly type of fracture related to osteoporosis. Other types of fractures remain widespread – wrist, spinal, arm and leg fractures.

About World Osteoporosis Day  

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD), October 20, is dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. The day aims to put osteoporosis and fracture prevention on the global health agenda by reaching out to healthcare professionals, policy makers and members of the public. The 2017 theme for WOD is  ‘Love your bones – Protect your future’. Osteoporosis Australia is encouraging Aussies to visit Know Your Bones www.knowyourbones.org.au