Australia has a population of 25.6 million of whom 6 million were born in other countries. For 9 million both parents were born overseas. Approximately 90% of the population are of European ancestry with the majority of those having some English, Irish or Scottish ancestry. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 200 people of European ancestry in Australia are at genetic risk of haemochromatosis.
People in Australia with haemochromatosis are served by Haemochromatosis Australia
Haemochromatosis Australia is the support and advocacy group for people affected by haemochromatosis and their families. Our vision is that no Australian will suffer harm from haemochromatosis.
Haemochromatosis Australia aims to:
- provide support for people with the disorder
- increase awareness of haemochromatosis in the general public and the medical and health professions
- foster research
- improve public health policy in relation to issues affecting people diagnosed or at risk of haemochromatosis.
Haemochromatosis Australia is a non-profit registered charity and is run by a volunteer management committee. In addition a number of Volunteer Advocates work in local communities across the country.
Treatment in Australia
Most medical treatment in Australia is provided by private practice services but funded by the comprehensive national health insurance scheme known as ‘Medicare’.
Tests for serum ferritin and transferrin saturation, known as ‘iron studies’ and the genetic test of the HFE gene are normally ordered by a General Practitioner (GP) or specialist (haematologist or gastroenterologist). The tests are performed by private pathology companies.
People requiring venesection will require a referral from a GP or specialist.
Venesections are performed, upon referral by:
Australian LifeBlood (Red Cross Donor Services) if the patient satisfies their normal blood donor eligibility criteria
Private pathology companies
Some public and private hospitals
Some GPs at their clinics
People with haemochromatosis who visit Australia and require venesections will need to visit a local GP to obtain a referral. Contact Haemochromatosis Australia by the INFO LINE 1300 019 028 or email@example.com for further advice. It may be useful to bring with you a copy of your genetic test result and / or a letter from your doctor confirming your genetic status and the need for venesection.