October 8, 2015

From the CEO’s Desk

Dear Readers,

I am sure I don’t need to remind you about the significant benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation and ongoing exercise maintenance for those with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. We have been writing about and advocating for wider access to these important programs for many years.

In October, there will be an opportunity for you to voice your support for our efforts to make pulmonary rehabilitation available to all patients who could benefit and we are asking for your help. What we know about pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • Reduces breathlessness and other symptoms
  • Improves feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Improves quality of life
  • Keeps people out of hospital
  • Helps people live longer

We also know, however, that programs are not available to everyone who could benefit. This is particularly the case for patients who live outside the major metropolitan areas.

As you may have seen in our previous edition of LungNet News, the Lung Foundation has lodged an application with the Government’s Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) for a Medicare item number. If we are successful, this will mean pulmonary rehabilitation and ongoing specialised exercise (such as Lungs in Action) will be subsidised. This, in turn, will encourage the establishment of new programs in the community where none have existed previously.

How you can help?

We expect the Government will be calling for public submissions on this issue during the month of October.
It will be important they hear from as many patients as possible about how important pulmonary rehabilitation is to them, so, we are asking you to write to your local Member of Parliament. Please also send us a copy of your letter
and we will make sure that it is submitted as part of the Department of Health’s consultation process. In your letter, describe what it’s like to live with lung disease and how pulmonary rehabilitation has helped or might help you.

Every letter will make a difference. So please take the time to write.

For more information on other ways you can support this important initiative, please call our Information and Support Centre on freecall 1800 654 301.

As this is the last edition of LungNet News for the year, I take the opportunity to wish you, your families and your friends a Merry Christmas. The past year has been a full and exciting one for Lung Foundation Australia and we couldn’t have been as successful without your support, so thank you.

To ensure we keep our costs low and can dedicate more funds raised to our growing and vital services, this year we have found it necessary to move away from the creation of our traditional Christmas cards. We have, however included the gift of our annual Christmas Seals which is a tradition of lung associations around the world. We appreciate your understanding on this decision and invite you to show your support through our annual Christmas Appeal.

This year, our Christmas Appeal shares the story of 50 year old regional fireman and father of seven, Brett Torcetti who was not expecting to be told “you may have lung cancer”, two days before Christmas.

Read more about Brett’s inspirational story within this issue.

Thank you again for your support during 2015.

Heather Allan

In October, there will be an opportunity for you to voice your support for our efforts to make pulmonary rehabilitation available to all patients who could benefit. For more information phone freecall 1800 654 301.