Please help to make medical grade oxygen more affordable for Cluster Headache patients
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I am starting this petition on behalf of myself and thousands of Australians who are currently struggling with the debilitating Primary Headache disorder, called Cluster Headaches.
Nicknamed the 'Suicide Headache', this headache condition has been described by worldwide medical professionals as being the "worst pain known to medical science".
Cluster headaches do not discriminate, the condition affects men and women, with a ratio of 4:1 and there are cases where children have also been diagnosed. The thought of a child suffering this level of pain is unthinkable.
There is no cure. Our battle is life long and while there are a number of preventative medications that are prescribed to us, most of them are prescribed off label and serve as a bandaid, at best. These medications are generally prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure, epilepsy and migraine. The side effects are often horrendous and in some cases, do more damage in the long term. Some pain medications prescribed have a high rate of addiction and it is not uncommon for Cluster Headache sufferers to be treated as drug addicts as a result of the desperation we display to recieve any form of pain relief. Proven front line abortives for this condition include Sumatriptan injections and 100% Medical grade oxygen, both of which are not covered under the PBS scheme and have high costs. Medical grade 100% oxygen has no negative side effects and zero addictive properties.
However, Medical grade oxygen requires a prescription, which is generally supplied by a neurologist. In most instances, wait times for appointments with a neurologist can take several weeks or months and can be costly, especially for those in the lower income brackets.
Medical grade oxygen is supplied by gas companies such as BOC and Supagas and is not covered for Cluster Headaches by medicare or the PBS scheme. The cost of this treatment can be extremely expensive, in worst cases, costing in excess of $300 a month, leaving those on lower incomes with no choice but to suffer the pain of this condition with no relief.
I have started this petition to request that Medical grade oxygen be made available to Cluster Headache sufferers under Medicare and the PBS scheme, just as it is available to those suffering with emphysema.
Please consider our request to have Medical grade oxygen more affordable by having it covered by Medicare and the PBS scheme. The availability is a life line for us and our quality of life literally depends on it.
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