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National action to restore dignity

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, has announced a new National Continence Program to increase the awareness of bladder and bowel health in the community and among health professionals.

The minister’s announcement, made just before World Continence Week happening now until 26 June, is set to help the four million Australians who experience incontinence by improving their condition and thus, their quality of life.

The National Continence Program contains a four year action plan which will raise the awareness of bladder of bowel health and incontinence management; improve access to workforce training and support for health professionals, care workers and carers; promote the use of consistent and standardised terminology; and establish and strengthen relationships with relevant governments, community and industry groups.

“Incontinence affects people of all ages and from all walks of life, which is why we are establishing an action plan that promotes the importance of bladder and bowel health across the lifespan,” Mr Butler said.

“The overarching aim of the National Continence Program is to improve awareness, prevention and management of incontinence, so that more Australians and their carers can live and participate in the community with confidence and dignity.”

CEO of the Continence Foundation Barry Cahill said: “This action plan is a positive step in addressing the needs of people with incontinence, and is perfectly aligned with our overall mission. It will also continue to position Australia as a leader in this area.”

The program builds on the government’s National Continence Management Strategy which provided funding for research and services and a high-level map for future activities.

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