On Friday 27th January 2017, TASCS Australia visited the State Member for Oakleigh, the Honourable Mr Steve Dimopoulos. The meeting was to touch base again with Mr Dimopoulos, as the Society has had contacts with him for some years. The Society sought to raise various concerns about the need for the development of an actual policy strategy to confront the growing presence of chronic haemoglobin conditions within Victoria. It was highlighted to Mr Dimopoulos that there was also a need for provision of better services to patients and additional treatment centres across the state as a result of this growing presence. The Society enumerated the struggles that are placed before it and the Thalassaemia Society of NSW, which are the only support and information networks that have remained within Australia to deal with haemoglobinopathies.
To this effect, the Society and Mr Dimopoulos discussed the re-establishment of a bipartisan advocacy committee of Victorian politicians to help raise awareness, inform and guide public policies which addressed haemoglobinopathies within Victoria. It was agreed that further discussions will need to be arranged so as to establish a “Friends of Thalassaemia & Sickle Cell”, and to draw up plans to get other politicians involved. The Society thanked Steve for his guidance and expressed their joy in looking forwards to their next meeting to discuss further developments.