Published by The Border Watch
By Raquel Mustillo
INCREASED research, education and funding for a disorder that affects one in 10 women is among Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell's list of parliamentary priorities for 2021.
The independent MP will push to secure funding to support women with endometriosis to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of the chronic and often debilitating condition when parliament resumes this year.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects a woman's reproductive organs in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, grows outside the uterus.
The primary symptom is pelvic pain and can also cause fatigue, nausea, bloating and infertility.
Evidence suggests the late diagnosis of endometriosis is common and often takes between seven and 10 years for health professionals to identify the cause of women's symptoms associated with endometriosis.
"We need better programs, better awareness and better treatments and this South Australian Government has dropped the ball in that regard," he said.
"The pressures it puts on women is huge from managing pain and it's the young girls where it is unknown for a part of their life, there has got to be awareness programs and getting into schools more and talking about it so they know they are not alone.
"Not only do women incur substantial medical costs in seeking treatment for endometriosis they often suffer a loss of income due to not being able to work or having to work reduced hours.
"It doesn't cost a lot of money to provide education to make sure girls and women are aware of it and that is where the State Government could be doing more." Mr Bell will also call for greater support for mental health, the establishment of regional TAFE boards and push for legislative change in the production and supply of medical cannabis.
"Not only will removing jurisdictional barriers to this drug have major implications on the lives of South Australians but this is also a major growth industry, expected to be worth $1b within Australia by 2015," he said.
"Our region should be exploring opportunities to be part of this growing sector and attracting related industries to the Limestone Coast." State Parliament resumes on February 2.