Media releases

November 25, 2003

Action Plans urged for safe holidays with asthma

The National Asthma Council and Medibank Private are urging Australians with asthma to revisit their Asthma Action Plans before heading off for summer holidays.

Associate Professor Mimi Tang, spokesperson for the National Asthma Council and paediatric allergist and immunologist at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, said that written instructions on how to recognise when asthma was getting worse, and what action to take, can help people control asthma and enjoy a holiday without a stay in hospital.

“Having an Asthma Action Plan is a useful way of reducing anxiety about what to do during an asthma attack and a way of giving people with asthma, their families and carers the confidence to handle an episode,” Associate Professor Tang said.

“We encourage people with asthma and their family and carers to take control of the condition. The Asthma Action Plan will help people with asthma work better with their GPs to reach the optimal result.”

She encouraged people to review their Asthma Action Plan with their GP before going on holidays. And, for people without an Action Plan, the advice is to get one in place.

“Access to asthma treatment and care may be difficult in some places, especially in some regional, rural and remote areas. A visit to the GP before a holiday will ensure you have a good asthma action plan, the right medication and enough of it so you will be prepared, wherever you’re travelling,” Associate Professor Tang said.

The National Asthma Council Australia and Medibank Private have teamed up to produce the ‘Asthma Management Holiday Checklist’.

Some of the key points in the checklist include:

 Have your GP check your asthma before you go.
 Take enough medication to last the whole trip.
 Continue all your medications, especially preventer medication.
 If camping be aware that cold air and wood fires may trigger asthma.
 If staying with friends, be aware of your asthma triggers, like cat allergens. Also, dust mite numbers are often higher in coastal areas or humid environments.

Along with the ‘Asthma Management Holiday Checklist’, Medibank Private and the National Asthma Council have produced the latest edition of “Good Asthma Management for Everyone – A guide for people with asthma”. Included in the brochure is an Asthma Action Plan that can be filled out with the help of a GP. To view the brochure and the ‘Asthma Management Holiday Checklist’, click here.

Medibank Private's Managing Director, George Savvides, said that the aim of the health fund's alliance with the National Asthma Council was to provide comprehensive information to help people with asthma to better manage their condition.

“The holiday checklist is a great addition to the information already available on the Medibank Private website and will help thousands of Australians manage their asthma during the busy holiday season,” Mr Savvides said.

Both the checklist and the brochure are available from Medibank Private Retail Centres and from

For more information about asthma, visit

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