The successful and life-saving Jack Jumper Desensitisation Program will continue to operate statewide and will also examine options to increase sales of Jack Jumper venom interstate.
These are the outcomes of the THO South’s review into the staffing and operation of the program, which was initiated last year.

This important allergy desensitisation program delivers services to patients across the state, with clinics held at the Royal Hobart Hospital and the North West Regional Hospital.
The clinical treatment regime consists of a weekly dose for 12 weeks, followed by a maintenance dose fortnightly to monthly for 12 months, and then quarterly dose for up to 5 years.

Picture by Natalie Tapson

All patients travel to Hobart for the weekly dose, but the maintenance and quarterly dose have been provided at both the Hobart and Burnie clinics. Thirty to 40 patients are treated each week.

In the context of the difficult budget mess left by the previous Labor-Green government it is imperative that all health services and programs are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.

In a classic example of Labor’s ever-increasing record of false claims and scaremongering around health, the opposition health spokesperson Rebecca White attempted to claim that this review meant the service was being cut.

As I said last year, the Government was committed to continuing to operating the program on a statewide basis, and that is what is occurring.

The Jack Jumper Program also has Therapeutic Goods Authority approval to manufacture and sell jack jumper venom. examining options to increase sales of Jack Jumper venom to Victoria, and potentially, other states such as South Australia and New South Wales. Jack Jumpers have begun colonising in those states and many health services have waiting lists for treatments.
All revenue raised through the sale of venom remains with the Program to fund the production of the venom and other operational costs.

It is exceptional that Tasmania has been a leader in this field of immunology research and I’d like to congratulate the team responsible for delivering this important program and look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead.

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