The Asthma Society is involved in the following advocacy initiatives.
The National Clinical Programme for Asthma
The Asthma Society of Ireland has been instrumental in the design and progression of the HSE’s National Clinical Programme for Asthma to date. As the Programme enters the next phase of its development, we are committed to ensuring that it is implemented fully and that everyone with asthma in Ireland can avail of structured, best practice asthma care in their community. For more information on the Clinical Programme for Asthma click here.
The Cost of Asthma
Managing asthma can be expensive. The Asthma Society of Ireland is a strong advocate for the need to reduce costs for people with asthma. As asthma is not included under the Long Term Illness scheme, both medication and doctor visits can be prohibitively expensive. We are working to bring down the cost of both visits to healthcare professionals and treating asthma. For more information on the cost of asthma, click here.
The Asthma Society of Ireland has been very vocal in advocating for cleaner air for people with asthma. We have actively supported EU initiatives and policies to reduce pollution levels. Good air quality is important for keeping well with asthma. Pollution from traffic, fuel and industry can worsen air quality and dramatically impact on people with asthma’s health. Whilst many might assume that Ireland has good air quality, European Union targets, to which Ireland is subject, are set much more leniently than those recommended by the World Health Organisation, and even small levels of pollution can have a massive impact on asthma control. We are advocating to reduce pollution and improve air quality both indoors and outdoors thoughout Ireland.
Equitable Access to Medication
Xolair (Olmalizumab) is an asthma treatment for people with severe symptoms. Xolair is not suitable for everyone, but for those that it works for, it is life-changing and can mean the difference between completely debilitating symptoms and leading a happy, healthy life. Xolair is administered in hospital and is unfortunately not available in every hospital, meaning that some people are not able to benefit. The Asthma Society of Ireland is working to make sure that everyone can avail of this treatment, no matter where they live.
Tobacco smoke is the most common and one of the worst asthma triggers around. The Asthma Society of Ireland has a long history of advocating against smoking and tobacco , including advocating for the 2004 Workplace Smoking Ban. Most recently,we have been advocating in Europe and in Ireland for stricter packaging restrictions for tobacco products. In Ireland we are fighting for the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products. We want Ireland to follow Australia’s lead and become the first European country to take this momentous step towards a tobacco free society. But plain packaging is just one of a suite of tobacco control measures, including taxation and public place smoking bans, that we advocate for in the hope that future generations of people with asthma won’t have to tolerate this serious threat to their health.