Busy clinicians have put their heads together in a bid to reduce deaths related to respiratory disease in the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD).
They have turned out to a two-day forum in Dubbo organised by the LHD that reports of having “one of the highest number of deaths related to respiratory disease” in the state.
The forum has featured the launch of a five-year respiratory service plan with strategies including “reinforcing” the LHD’s smoking cessation network.
“We do have a high rate of smoking within our LHD too,” forum leader and respiratory service plan author David Peebles said.
Mr Peebles, the LHD’s chronic care coordinator, said the forum was a chance for people working in respiratory medicine to exchange information, network, showcase resources and discuss “how we are going to meet the future needs within out LHD”.
“Our data certainly suggests we’ve got one of the highest number of deaths related to respiratory disease among LHDs in the state,” he said.
“That’s true across a range of respiratory illnesses. We do have a high rate of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) deaths. We’ve got a high rate of asthma deaths. We’ve got a high rate of deaths due to bronchitis and chronic lung conditions.”
The “first LHD-wide respiratory forum” attracted 130 registrations and was held at Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre.
Forum participants included GPs, allied health professionals and LHD clinicians.
They heard from multiple speakers including a respiratory physician at Dubbo Hospital, Dr Charles Prabhakar, who promoted the benefits to patients and the hospital system of pulmonary rehabilitation.
He said exercise classes for patients with chronic lung disease helped them physically and emotionally.
“It significantly helps the patient..almost more than inhalers do which we think are the cornerstone for our treatments,” the physician said.
Dr Prabhaker said the more hospitals spent on exercise classes “the less they will spend on admissions”.
The physician heads up a new expert advisory group that has already identified “pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking cessation” as ways to address respiratory disease in the region.