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National health target required to reduce respiratory illness

Photo: National health target required to reduce respiratory illness
The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ believe the latest findings from the University of Otago study into childhood respiratory illness and primary care reiterate the need for action from the government to introduce a national respiratory health target.

The University of Otago ‘Big Data’ study found that respiratory conditions account for 46 per cent of all child GP consultations.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Chief Executive Letitia O’Dwyer said, “We are certainly not surprised by the findings of this retrospective study. The high primary care workload related to childhood respiratory illnesses reflects what is being reported back to the Foundation by nurses, GPs and specialists working in the trenches.” 

Over 700,000 New Zealanders live with a respiratory condition, costing the country over $6 billion every year.
“The Foundation is calling on the government to take action and support a national health target that focuses on reducing emergency visits for acute respiratory illnesses by 20% within the next 5 years,” said O’Dwyer.

“Until respiratory illness is taken seriously, and there is a national target with funding behind it at the primary care and DHB level, then we will not see significant change,” said O’Dwyer.

This September, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ will run a national respiratory awareness campaign called Breathe Better September, to raise the profile of all respiratory conditions.


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