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Asthma Australia calls on SA Government for urgent funding action to support people with asthma

11 December 2017

ADELAIDE: Asthma Australia Ltd is calling upon the South Australian Government to invest in better management and information for the 1 in 9 South Australians living with asthma. The state government provides no funding, despite the severe impact of asthma across the state with rates of hospitalisations higher than the national average.

There is an average of 563 hospitalisations for asthma in South Australia each year[1]. This represents 102 people per 100,000 aged between 20 – 44 years -  above the national average of 81 per 100,000. The rate is as high as 253 people per 100,000 in regional areas such as the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Most asthma hospitalisations and deaths are preventable with good management, yet the national annual death toll from asthma of approximately 400 people has remained unchanged since 2003.

Chair of Asthma Australia, The Hon David Simmons, a former Minister in the Hawke and Keating Federal Governments, says there is an urgent need for funding action by South Australian government:

““If they had ignored the road death toll in the same way there would be enormous pressures on our community and on our hospitals so it is about time that asthma has the same attention”.

“There has been no State Government support despite the very high rates of asthma admissions to public hospitals, particularly in outer metropolitan Adelaide and the rural and remote areas of the state” said Mr Simmons.

The former Asthma Foundation team in South Australia has worked for 50 years providing services to people with asthma and educating the community on asthma prevention and management. The new national organisation met on Friday 8 December to develop a strategic plan to increase the efforts to help Australians living with asthma.

State funding would allow the organisation to offer increased support to the nearly 190,000 people in South Australia living with asthma, and to continue to improve recognition for the severity of the asthma burden on communities. Mr Simmons said;

“Asthma Australia Ltd is determined to improve health policies to ensure better management of asthma for all but we cannot do this without the support of government.”

ENDS

Media enquiries: Sophie Herlihy 0478 102 875

Interviews available: Michele Goldman, Hon David Simmons, and a person with asthma.

Asthma Australia

Asthma Australia delivers evidence-based preventative health strategies to over 200,000 people every year and provides support, training and resources to the primary health care sector. They fund vital basic science and population health research. 

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