General Election 2016 has been called with polling day on Friday 26 February which presents an opportunity to the Asthma Society to advocate on behalf of all its members for improved services, information and care.
During the Campaign we will be raising matters like the cost of asthma medication, lack of the implementation of the National Clinical Programme for Asthma, the urgent need for a nationwide smoky coal ban. We are asking all 2016 candidates to sign our support pledge based on five commitments listed below people with asthma want to see progressed.
How can you help?
If you have asthma and would like to help our campaign to ensure better care for all people with this chronic disease, please download copies of our election card, share them with your friends and family and raise the matters contained with your local politicians and their supporters when they call to your home in the coming weeks. Please, direct them also to our website so they could show their support by signing the pledge. If you are on social media please support our campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
To find out more about the campaign or to get involved please contact Kevin Kelly, Advocacy Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 554 9212.
- Full implementation of the HSE National Programme for Asthma which was agreed in 2011. THE NCPA in its simplest form is a plan that would see everyone with asthma in Ireland being able to avail of structured, best practice asthma care in their community. 55% of our members want to see the immediate implementation of the HSE NCPA which largely has gone unimplemented despite, being adopted in 2011. 59% of those surveyed feel asthma care would improve in Ireland as a result.
- Guarantee a free annual asthma review for each person with asthma as recommended in the NCPA. This is crucial for good asthma management and worryingly a survey of our members has shown up that 59% have not had their asthma reviewed in the last year. In addition the same survey alarmingly illustrated that 72% of respondents did not have a written asthma action plan.
- People with asthma are spending up to€144 a month on their asthma medication.
- 40% of respondents said that they don’t take their medication as prescribed because of cost.
- A further 25% said they travel outside of Ireland to buy their medication because they can’t afford to buy it here.
- The majority of those surveyed said they spent more than €250 per year on GP visits. As asthma is a disease that runs in families GP and medication costs can sky rocket.
- Subsidise medication for those most in need through the Long Term Illness Scheme or introduce another targeted scheme for people with asthma (In a recent survey of our members 91% of respondents stated that they wished to see a commitment by all political parties to have asthma included in the Long Term Illness Scheme).
- Reduce the cost of asthma medication.
- Introduce free GP care for all people with asthma as per the cycle of care set out in the National Clinical Programme something which 53% of our members said should be rolled out as a priority in a recent survey.
We are calling on all political parties and candidates in General Election 2016 to commit to introducing a nationwide smoky coal ban without delay if they find themselves in Government after the election.
- Extend the real-time air monitoring network to every county in Ireland.
- Set Ireland's air pollution laws to the World Health Organization’s air quality standards.
- Ensure the full implementation and enforcement of plain tobacco packaging legislation.
- Increase taxation and link future tax increases to inflation.
- Establish a tobacco regulator and place a cap on tobacco profits.
- Use revenue raised from profit cap to fund anti- tobacco measures.
- Take steps to stop the alarming increase in the use of roll your own Tobacco products
- Regulate the use, sale and advertising of e-cigarettes in line with the European Tobacco Products Directive which must be transposed into Irish law by the end of May 2016 to ensure their effectiveness as a tobacco cessation tool and stop possible re-normalisation of smoking, particularly amongst young people.
- Ban smoking near doorways of all public buildings - a barrier to people with asthma entering buildings safely.
- Continue resourcing tobacco cessation services to ensure the targets set out in a Tobacco Free Ireland are met.