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New National Asthma Strategy to be Developed

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

The Australian Government will 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,” Health Minister Peter 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,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said the National Asthma 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.

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Alana Lowes

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