Asthma patients in Gippsland will be among the thousands across Australia to benefit from an $8 million funding boost from the Federal Government.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester welcomed funding of $7.6 million for Asthma Australia to continue two training programs. Asthma Australia’s Child and Adolescent Program provides asthma information and emergency training for staff in preschools and schools and supports self-management for adolescents. Its Community Support Program will deliver community training education workshops and information online.
National Asthma Council will receive $525,000 to boost its support for GPs and nurses.
Mr Chester said past studies had investigated the prevalence of asthma in Gippsland.
“Around 22 percent of people in Gippsland say they have been diagnosed with asthma at some stage during their lives,” Mr Chester said.
“And over a five-year period, around 1250 people reported to emergency departments in Gippsland each year seeking help with asthma symptoms.
“There’s no doubt that there is a need across Australia, including in Gippsland, to provide more help to children, teenagers and adults with managing their asthma, and to the health professionals who provide that assistance.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said more than 2.5 million Australians were affected by asthma and it was one of the most common chronic conditions among children.
“Asthma can be fatal, causing around 400 deaths each year and asthma attacks cause around 40,000 hospitalisations every year,” Mr Hunt said.
“Australia has high incidence of asthma compared to other similar countries. People living in remote or lower socio-economic areas have higher rates and are more likely to have severe and life threatening asthma.
“In January, I announced $1 million for the National Asthma Strategy, which will provide a roadmap for more effective treatment and better care for patients.”