Minister Launches New Asthma Handbook

Health Minister Peter Dutton has launched the seventh edition of the Australian Asthma Handbook.

Page last updated: 04 March 2014

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4 March 2014

Health Minister Peter Dutton today launched the seventh edition of the Australian Asthma Handbook – an expert guide for health professionals to help Australians better manage their asthma.

Mr Dutton said the treatment guidelines in the latest Handbook, developed by the National Asthma Council, would help to continue improvement in asthma care by health professionals.

More than two million Australians have asthma - about one in 10 adults and one in 10 children.

Speaking at the National Asthma Council’s Handbook launch Mr Dutton said the Handbook was about improving asthma care so that Australians were in control of their asthma, rather than have it control them.

“While the rate of asthma deaths in Australia still remains high by international standards, the good news is that asthma deaths among younger Australians have declined considerably since the late 1980s,” Mr Dutton said.

“Compared to the past, very few children and young people now die from asthma. Hospital admissions and emergency department attendances have also reduced.”

“With asthma, like other chronic diseases, we face many challenges.

“These include keeping people on their long term preventer medication, ensuring they understand that symptoms can usually be well controlled with regular medicine use and following a written asthma action plan.

“In order to provide the best advice to patients, we need to keep GPs and other primary care health professionals up to date with asthma treatment, and ensure that medical and pharmacy students are educated about asthma. This is where the Handbook has a pivotal role.”

The latest edition of the Handbook will be delivered to health practitioners in Australia and the Asia-Pacific on a dedicated website. It is accompanied by a Quick Reference Guide and a small hardcopy summary of the most important tables from the Handbook.

The Australian Government funds the National Asthma Council’s Asthma Best Practice for Professionals training program.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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