Write a letter to the Ministers

Write a letter to the Ministers for Health, telling them why increased funding in tinnitus research is vital. Here are some points to include in the letter (but be sure to tell your own story too).

  • I am writing to you to bring tinnitus and my story to your attention.
  • One in three people in Australia have experienced tinnitus, and one in six, experience it constantly.
  • Funding is urgently needed to help find a cure for this condition, because tinnitus can seriously impact people’s lives. It can lead to many mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and, sadly, suicide.
  • The direct and indirect costs of tinnitus to Australian society are difficult to quantify. However, as an indicative figure, a study from the Netherlands estimated an annual productivity cost of €3702 per person with tinnitus and mean societal cost of illness of €6.8bn in 2009. By way of comparison, a top-down study of low-back pain in the Netherlands reported total societal costs of €3.5bn in 2007.
  • With an ageing population, increasing prevalence and no accepted cure, tinnitus is set to cost Australians dear – individually and collectively. Despite this, tinnitus research is currently largely underrecognised and underfunded.
  • People with tinnitus urgently need the Government to commit more funding to tinnitus research to give people with tinnitus hope for a cure.
  • To do this, research foundations must be built, including biomarkers, robust outcome measures, and meaningful subtyping of clinical phenotypes.
  • The role of the pharmaceutical industry in this endeavour is likely to be fundamental, using experience in clinical trial design, and attracting resources for large scale trials that intentionally address the clinical need.
  • There is also an urgent need for accessible, reliable and impartial information for consumers on treatment options and a network of trusted multidisciplinary professionals.
  • There are few such high-prevalence conditions that are so poorly resourced in terms of health literacy, professional training, and development and individualised support services.
  • Because tinnitus affects people in different ways, I wanted to share my story with you in the hope that you will join the call to get tinnitus research higher up the political agenda.

Once you have your letter, send it to:

Minister.Hunt@health.gov.au                                    david.gillespie@health.gov.au

The Hon Greg Hunt MP                                            The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care                           Minister for Regional Health