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High costs for asthma sufferers

29 November 2011 - 4:59pm

Some asthma sufferers are turning to emergency departments as part of their primary health care plan because they can't afford the ongoing costs of prevention medications, a leading news source has reported.

Speaking to the Canberra Times, executive director of the Health Care Consumers Association of the ACT Darlene Cox stated that some people would choose to live with a "wheezing breath" rather than pay the cost of implementing an asthma plan.

"It's a costly business managing your own chronic condition,'' she told the Fairfax Media source.

Ms Cox highlighted the dilemma that many families face in balancing health costs with other household bills such as electricity and school supplies.

''...There's [also] a lot of older people who will not fill all their scripts. The cost of health care is a considerable burden for the consumer.''

Ms Cox urged asthma sufferers to explore their health care options, rather than simply going without medication.

Some private health insurance providers offer assistance in asthma management and may be able to help establish an asthma action plan.

''The idea of an asthma management plan is to help people avoid acute [attacks] otherwise they end up in the emergency department and that is dangerous and extremely expensive for the health-care system as well,'' Ms Cox said.