During Asthma Awareness Week 2020, the Asthma Society of Ireland sent a briefing to the Minister for Health, to party health spokespersons and to newly elected TDs, detailing the concerns and needs of people with asthma and COPD arising from the current healthcare crisis.
Over 380,000 people in Ireland currently have asthma and 890,000 people will have it at some stage in their lifetime. The current Covid-19 pandemic - and the coming period as restrictions eased and society and the economy reopens - is a time of real worry for people with asthma and their families. The Government has deemed people to be high risk if they have asthma or COPD and “extremely medically vulnerable” if they have severe asthma or severe COPD. While people with asthma are not more likely to contract coronavirus, they may experience more severe symptoms if they do.
This briefing outlined the findings of a survey of almost 2,500 people with asthma and their carers conducted by the Asthma Society in April. the survey looked at the concerns of people with asthma during the coronavirus crisis. People with asthma and COPD face a future of great uncertainty as restrictions are eased in Ireland. The briefing calls on Minister Simon Harris to prioritise their needs now and in all future health planning, including by adding asthma to the Long Term Illness Scheme.
A copy of the briefing sent to Minister Simon Harris and the briefing sent to party Health Spokepersons are both available to download.