Wednesday 13 December 2017

Asthma sufferers skip GP visits and medication over high costs

Boy using inhaler
Boy using inhaler

People in Ireland with asthma are frustrated and feel lost, a new study has revealed.

Participants in a new Living with Asthma study say that they feel there is a "one size fits all" system of management in Ireland, and they are not treated as individuals.

Sharon Cosgrove, the CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland, said that the results show that people are limiting their activity levels, giving up hobbies and withdrawing from social and family life because of their asthma.

"We are calling on the Government to take these findings under advisement and support a new approach to asthma management," she said.

Figures show that there are more than 5,000 admissions per year to hospital for asthma treatment, with the average cost of a hospital admission for asthma a staggering €2,737.

Every 26 minutes, someone with asthma attends a hospital emergency department, the report reveals.

The Society said that the burden of the financial cost of asthma stands out in the new report, with some "extremely troubling disclosures; people described how they skip their medication, GP visits and have even started travelling abroad to buy cheaper medication".

The society is hosting Ireland's largest patient event for those living with the condition today in Dublin.

fdillon@herald.ie

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