Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2005) . . Page.. 3629 ..
• How many asthma sufferers are there in the ACT;
• Is the Asthma Clinic at Calvary Hospital no longer operating;
• What are the reasons for the cessation of this service and is it related to a lack of funding from the Government;
• How many clients, on a monthly average, used the Asthma Clinic while in operation;
• Is it true that the asthma educators at the hospital have now left; if so, why;
• Is there any truth to claims that the asthma educators left because of lack of support for their work from management;
• Are there any similar services available at The Canberra Hospital for asthma sufferers.
• If there is no truth to the claims in part (6) what support is available in the ACT for asthma sufferers and are such services adequate.
Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
• In response to your query, the most recent, reliable data on asthma prevalence for the ACT is from the 2001 National Health Survey. In 2001, 12.6% of ACT respondents to the National Health Survey reported having been previously diagnosed with asthma.
• Yes, the Asthma Clinic at Calvary Hospital no longer operating
• There was insufficient demand for the Calvary Health Care service. The Calvary Clinic was staffed to run 2 days per week with a capacity of 14 patients per week, or 56 per month. During the last 7 months of operation (Jan-July 2004) the average number of patients seen per month were 14, which is a utilisation of 25%.
Asthma management has changed significantly in recent years In 2003 Calvary participated in a Commonwealth funded asthma research project which focussed on providing patients and general practitioners with information packs and action plans. This practice continues today and is thought to be the reason why demand for the asthma clinic has decreased.
This decision was not related to a lack of funding from the Government.
• A monthly average 19 patients or 23 occasions of service for the whole time the clinic was in operation. During the last 7 months of operation (Jan-July 2004) the average number of patients seen per month was 14.
• Yes – 2 accredited asthma educators who were employed for a combined total of 0.3 FTE for asthma education have resigned - both staff left to pursue other career opportunities.
• I cannot answer on the specific individual staff member’s reasons for leaving.
• The Department of Thoracic Medicine at The Canberra Hospital provides Adult Asthma Education. Patients are referred from the ACT and local region and are seen at no charge. There is no waiting time for appointments and patients are seen as soon as it is convenient for them.