New National Plan to Tackle the Impact of Asthma

A new National Asthma Strategy will be developed to address the toll the condition has on the lives of more than two million Australians.

Page last updated: 30 October 2014

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30 October 2014

A new National Asthma Strategy will be developed to address the toll the condition has on the lives of more than two million Australians.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said today the Government would engage the National Asthma Council and provide $200,000 in funding to develop and implement the strategy.

“Most Australians will have had a personal experience with asthma or have witnessed the difficulties it has caused to a family member or friend,” Mr Dutton said.

The condition can cause prolonged coughing, shortness of breath, trips to hospital emergency departments, and even death. While the prevalence of asthma in Australia is high by international standards, its underlying causes are still not well understood.

“For these reasons and more, we need to renew our efforts through a National Asthma Strategy that provides a framework for action to reduce its impact on the community and economy. It will work to find effective and efficient ways to prevent, treat and manage the condition.”

The National Asthma Council has played a lead role in the fight against asthma for the past 25 years and is at the forefront of efforts to improve clinical care. The council publishes the Australian Asthma Handbook, which provides health professionals and patients with practical, evidence-based advice for managing the condition.

Mr Dutton said the Council will consult extensively on the development of the strategy with consumers and asthma experts, including Asthma Australia, pharmaceutical and medicine bodies, nursing associations and GP and primary health organisations.

All state and territory governments will have input with the finalised document to be presented to Australia’s Health Ministers for their endorsement.

The strategy is expected to be ready for implementation by early 2016.

“We need to build on Australia’s recent progress to reduce the impact of asthma by ensuring our health system and workforce have the support they need to meet the challenges it poses,” Mr Dutton said.

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

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