Transforming the agenda for COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung condition that worsens over time and leads to increasing breathing difficulty, disability and premature death. It’s a major public health problem due to its high prevalence, rising number of cases, and very significant personal, social, and economic costs.

On World COPD Day 2022, Lung Foundation Australia launched the COPD Blueprint, Transforming the agenda for COPD: A path towards prevention and lifelong lung health. This report provides the government with five urgent actions to drive significant and positive change that will improve outcomes for thousands of families impacted by COPD, and the lives of all Australians through better lung health.

On World COPD Day 2023, Lung Foundation Australia is calling on the federal government to take urgent action to improve COPD care that costs the Australian health system an estimated $1 billion a year. The time to act is now. Six Australians with lived experience of COPD, shown in this video, ask the Australian Government to act on COPD diagnosis and community management.

We’re calling on the government to invest in:

Early and accurate COPD risk identification and diagnosis 

Identify those at risk, explore opportunistic and systematic case-finding, enhance spirometry use and access in primary care, enable earlier spirometry in the life course, and embed COPD within Medicare services.

Community management

Implement workforce education and training, enhance multidisciplinary care in the community, increase access and uptake of pulmonary rehabilitation, and increase availability and uptake of immunisation for those living with COPD.

Lifelong prevention of COPD

Target risk factors such as prematurity, nutrition, and respiratory infections, accelerate efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, and improve indoor and outdoor air quality.

Acute care management

Ensure optimal access and delivery of acute care, increase adherence to guidelines-based management, and utilise virtual and digital innovations.

COPD research and translation

Boost investment in COPD research, optimise COPD guidelines implementation, and invest in national data infrastructure.

You can help by sharing to raise awareness and calling on your local member of parliament for support this World COPD Day.

The growing burden of COPD in Australia


is Australia's 5th biggest killer 

Approx. 500,000

Australians are affected by COPD


cause of potentially preventable hospitalisations in Australia

Up to 50%

of people with COPD don’t know they have it

$1 billion

cost to the Australian health system

People living with COPD, like myself, continue to be forgotten. We experience stigma, barriers in accessing health professionals and services, and it seems to all depend on where you live. It is time for us to be treated better. We want to live well and I really hope that this Blueprint is the start of things changing for the better.
- Cathy, living with COPD
About Lung Foundation Australia
Lung Foundation Australia is the nation’s leading peak body for respiratory health and lung disease. We fund life-changing research and delivers support services to enable Australians with lung disease and lung cancer to live their best life.

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