Media releases

May 6, 2003

New asthma guide encourages people to be "proactive" in managing their asthma condition

Medibank Private and the National Asthma Council jointly launched today, as part of World Asthma Day activities, an easy-to-use guide to encourage people to become more "proactive" in managing their asthma.

Managing Director George Savvides, said the booklet "Good Asthma Management for Everyone" was now available through Medibank Private's 100 retail outlets around Australia, its call centre and the National Asthma Council

"We want to do our bit to alleviate the impact of asthma on the over two million Australians who are diagnosed with it," Mr Savvides said.

"Our aim with the booklet is to give people with asthma relevant information and encourage them to monitor their condition in conjunction with their GP," Mr Savvides said.

"The booklet assists them by featuring an "Asthma Action Plan", which they can fill in with their doctor, to record the type and amount of medication needed during moderate to severe asthma attacks.

"People who follow their Asthma Action Plan are likely to have better controlled asthma, fewer asthma attacks and fewer days off work or school as a result.

"The guide also provides practical information on the symptoms and causes of asthma, how factors such as diet and smoking can impact asthma, types of medications used to treat asthma, and some first aid tips to assist a person who is having an asthma attack.

"National Asthma Council commissioned research shows that self-management education, an effective Asthma Action Plan, appropriate use of asthma medicines and regular medical review, reduces morbidity and mortality," Mr Savvides said.

Dr Ron Tomlins, Chairman of the National Asthma Council, commended Medibank Private for its initiative.

"The National Asthma Council congratulates Medibank Private for its proactive response to its members in providing them with effective and up-to-date health information," Dr Tomlins said.

"The National Asthma Council partnered with Medibank Private to produce this brochure to further raise asthma awareness in the community and provide the latest information for people with asthma and their carers.

"As the peak asthma body in Australia, the National Asthma Council is committed to supporting initiatives that help recognise the impact of asthma and the need for proactive asthma management in the community," Dr Tomlins said.

Mr Savvides said the asthma booklet complemented the comprehensive asthma information already available on Medibank Private's website, through its alliance arrangements with the National Asthma Council.

"The Medibank Private and National Asthma Council alliance was developed 18 months ago with the common aim of reducing the impact of asthma in the Australian population through the provision of quality health information," Mr Savvides said.

For a copy of the "Good Asthma Management for Everyone" booklet, contact Medibank Private on 132 331 or the National Asthma Council on 1800 032 495. For comprehensive consumer health information on asthma log on to Medibank Private's website:

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