New government lobbying and other advocacy news
07 December 2022

The ASA has been working in partnership with the Sleep Health Foundation over the last few months to communicate the importance of sleep health to members of the 47th Parliament. 

A key feature of these conversations with senators and MPs has been the Parliamentary Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia. The ASA President, SHF Chair and both organisation CEOs have highlighted that there has been no formal government response to the 2019 inquiry report, and that sleep health has been adversely affected by the pandemic since then.  

“We have particularly highlighted a policy proposal to address the sleep health needs of our burnt out and overworked healthcare workforces, specifically doctors, nurses and midwives, and aged care workers” said ASA CEO, Marcia Balzer.

“This proposal directly addresses recommendation 3 of the parliamentary inquiry report, which highlights the particular needs of 24-hour shift workers.” 

ASA and SHF also worked together to prepare a submission for the Parliamentary Inquiry Into Long COVID and Repeated COVID infections.

"Our joint submission highlighted both current research and research gaps about the role of sleep in acute and long COVID. It features 6 recommendations that include the need for further research, and treatment options that include sleep experts for people with long COVID," Marcia said.

In other advocacy news, a small working group has been hard at work progressing the application for Medicare funding for home sleep studies in children and adolescents

“The level of detail and analysis required through this rigorous process has been demanding, but the paediatric working group has put in extraordinary efforts to develop and pursue this important application,” Marcia said.  

Another working group has been providing advice to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in relation to gathering survey and accelerometer data in the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey

“Thank you to all the members who have made a significant commitment to helping with these important initiatives to improve sleep health in Australia. I would love to hear from members in relation to these or any other issues that may be important for us to consider in our advocacy work,” Marcia said. 

Read more about ASA advocacy work