National lung plan launched
The Federal Government has released its National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions, coupled with $4 million in new funding.
The Action Plan identifies ways to speed up diagnosis and improve treatment of lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), occupational lung diseases and rare lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis.
The release of the plan comes with a pledge of up to $4 million to support its recommendations, including:
- $2 million for the development and delivery of lung health training and educational resources for health professionals
- $1 million will be provided to Lung Foundation Australia for awareness and education for people with lung conditions
- $1 million for support to population groups considered to be at an increased risk of experiencing poor lung health. This includes improving awareness relating to occupational hazards that affect the lungs, addressing chronic cough and improving awareness of the benefits of immunisation to reduce the risk of respiratory infections
In Australia, 7.1 million people—almost one in three—live with a lung disease.
Lung cancer is Australia’s biggest killer, claiming more than 9,000 lives in 2017 - more than breast, prostate and ovarian cancers combined.
The Federal Government has also put up $5.8 million to list the medicine Spiriva Respimat (tiotropium) for children aged 6 to 17 years affected by severe asthma on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The medicine improves breathing by relaxing the air passages that carry air to and from the lungs.