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Working is a health benefit

Working is a health benefit

Sandra Kirby, CEO Arthritis New Zealand welcomes the funding to support people on benefits return to the workforce.

“Musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, are the second leading cause of people being on long term disability benefits accounting for one in five people medically unfit for work.”

“We hope that the new approaches, new services and supports mentioned in the Budget will include programmes for people with arthritis. We know this cannot be done by government alone but needs the combined efforts of employers, clinicians and individuals alongside government support.”

“The Fit for Work report in 2012 identified effective interventions for all these stakeholders. Looking at effective supports for people to return to the workforce is a great start. Research consistently shows that the greatest cost of arthritis to individuals and the whole society is the loss of ability to work.”

“There is also ample evidence that suitable work is good for people’s physical and mental health. Working brings health benefits to all of us. ACC has some great programmes that support people’s return to work – we can use these models for people who leave the workforce due to arthritis as well as those affected by injury.”

“Arthritis is the most common disabling condition facing New Zealanders –early intervention and supportive workplaces will help ease the pain of arthritis – for individuals and the whole community”, Ms Kirby concluded.


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