More specialised local treatment options needed for Hunter people with eating disorders.

EXPERTS agree that the earlier an eating disorder is treated, the better the outcome for the patient. But accredited practicing dietitian Jodie Sheraton said it could be a long and anxious wait to access public services.

Ms Sheraton is the director of the private Myrtle Oak Clinic on the Central Coast. She thinks there should be more local options for “individualised, multi-disciplinary treatment” for people with an eating disorder who do not meet the public system criteria, or cannot participate in group programs.

“If there were more private clinics around it would give greater choice for patients needing help,” Ms Sheraton said. “There can be long waiting lists in the public system – someone could be on the waiting list for six-to-nine months.”

Ms Sheraton said outside of Sydney, the Myrtle Oak Clinic was the only facility with a multi-disciplinary team under one roof. “If people are flexible with availability, we can get them in within a week,” she said.

If you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, call The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673.

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