Member for Baker Tony Pasin has today launched the Parliamentary Friends of Asthma group in Parliament House.

The group brings together Members of Parliament from all side of politics with Asthma Australia and the National Asthma Council to raise awareness of the crippling condition that affects 2.5 million Australians.

Joining Mr Pasin and his co-convener Dr Mike Freelander MP at the launch was Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt, who announced an additional $8 million in funding to support thousands of asthma patients in Australia.

Asthma Australia will receive $7.6 million to continue two training programs.

The  ‘Asthma Child and Adolescent Program’ delivers asthma information and emergency training for staff in preschools and schools and supports self-management for adolescents while its ‘Community Support Program’ delivers community training education workshops and information online.

National Asthma Council will receive $525,000 to boost its support for GPs and nurses through providing training in best practice response to asthma and linked chronic respiratory conditions to primary care health practitioners, including GPs, practice nurses and Indigenous health workers.

This additional funding means that the National Asthma Council is now receiving $1.26 million to support the conduct of the program over three years.

“Australia has high incidence of asthma compared to other similar countries,” Mr Pasin said.

“As someone who suffers from Asthma myself, I understand how crippling it can be.

“It’s an often life threatening illness particularly for children and as a parent I know how frightening that is,” Mr Pasin said.

Asthma accounts for around 400 entirely preventable deaths each year and asthma attacks cause around 40,000 hospitalisations every year. Over half of these hospitalisations are for children under 15.

In January the Coalition Government announced $1 million for the National Asthma Strategy, which will provide a roadmap for more effective treatment and better care for patients.