Lung Health Awareness Month
November is Lung Health Awareness Month and the Australian Government is encouraging Australians not to take their lungs for granted.
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PDF printable version of Lung Health Awareness Month (PDF 23 KB)
30 October 2009
November is Lung Health Awareness Month and the Rudd Government is encouraging Australians not to take their lungs for granted.
During the month a variety of events will aim to raise awareness of lung disease among Australians, especially those over 35 years of age, promote the importance of lung health and motivate people with lung disease symptoms to seek diagnosis and treatment.
World Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Day, on 18 November, also falls in Lung Awareness Month. The Government’s $23 million reinvigorated Asthma Management Program, for the first time, addresses linkages between asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The Asthma Management Plan aims to reduce the personal, social and economic impact in Australia of asthma and linked conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, by facilitating best practice treatment and encouraging proactive management of these conditions.
The program will have a strong focus on prevention among susceptible members of the community including the elderly, people from lower income groups and Indigenous Australians.
Of course, the cost of tobacco use on lung health is significant.
That's why the Government has already allocated, through COAG, $872.1 million for Preventative Health programs, including those to minimise harm from tobacco.
The National Preventative Health Taskforce targeted tobacco as a priority, and its report will assist the Government to reduce smoking rates.
The Rudd Government is investing in a range of initiatives to tackle the burden of lung related health problems:
- Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2008-09, a total of $385.7 million was spent on medicines for obstructive airways diseases.
- The Government has committed $4 million to the Primary Care Collaboratives Program. This program supports doctors to make practice-level changes to improve health outcomes for patients. Around 90 general practices will be participating in the next wave of collaborative program topics, and one of these tackles COPD and assists general practitioners to improve clinical outcomes.
- The Government is providing more than $400,000 to the Australian Lung Foundation to undertake several projects around lung health.
- As well, in 2008 the National Health and Medical Research Council invested $38.9 million into research on respiratory disease.
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