The government’s re-announcement yesterday of funding for the National Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Action Plan is a cut of almost half the original funding.
In August 2013 Labor announced $20 million of funding towards the FASD Action Plan to assist with preventing the disorder. This included early intervention, targeting women who were addicted to alcohol, better diagnosis, management, research and support.
Yesterday the Assistant Minister for Health re-announced the same plan but less than half the funding.
“The funding to the FASD action plan announced today is welcome, but this is clearly a cut of more than $10 million to the funding that Labor allocated in the 2013-14 budget.” Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
“The Minister needs to explain why the full amount hasn’t been allocated and what parts of the Action Plan will not proceed due to the funding cut. This just shows again how out of touch the Abbott Government is when it comes to preventative health.”
Currently one in five women consume alcohol while pregnant after the knowledge of pregnancy.
The work that the FASD Action Plan does is critical to raising awareness about the harms of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Its work is integral for early intervention, prevention and support.
The level of government funding should reflect this significant work.