MDA Neuromuscular Clinic Opening

An Australian first, one-stop clinic for neuromuscular disorders that is dramatically reducing the number of visits families make to The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) was officially launched by Hon Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Children’s Services.

The Hon Bill Shorten MP with Georgie Heard

The MDA – Neuromuscular Clinic is a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic that brings together RCH specialists from neurology, respiratory, cardiology, orthopaedics, genetic counselling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, orthotics, social work, nutrition, nursing, teaching and representatives from MDA.

Muscular Dystrophy Australia (MDA) provides funding and support for the clinic.

The clinic provides efficient care, saving stress and frustration for families. Whereas previously neuromuscular patients were required to visit the hospital multiple times for individual specialist appointments, now they’re assessed by all of these specialists in just one afternoon.

For 12 year old George Heard and his parents, this means traveling three hours from home in Willaura to the RCH once every three months, rather than every month. George was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of three.

The clinic has so far benefited 300 patients with neuromuscular disorders.

A/P Andrew Kornberg, The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Boris M Struk and Prof Christine Kilpatrick

The Hon Bill Shorten MP commended the MDA for providing the resource for the establishment and conduct of the MDA – Neuromuscular Clinic. The MDA funds have enabled the visionaries to effect a reality.

Associate Prof. Andrew Kornberg, Director of Neurology RCH, advised that a recent publication highlights that optimum management of DMD requires a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on anticipatory and preventative measures.  Using this approach has been shown to alter the natural history of DMD.  This clinic provides this gold standard care and more.
“We have done this.  Gold standard!” he said.

MDA Executive Director, Boris M Struk said that this concept was a first for the Australian MD Community and should set the benchmark for the establishment of similar clinics throughout Australia. MDA have proposed this to the Federal Government and are currently seeking support for this program.

A true win – win for members of the MD Community and those medical professionals providing the required support.