Pressure’s on for south-west stroke action plans

LOCAL stroke survivors and a stroke liaison nurse will meet with member for Wannon Dan Tehan next week to lobby for more federal funding for a national action plan against stroke.

The stroke victims will join with South West Healthcare (SWH) stroke liaison nurse consultant Patrick Groot to call on Mr Tehan to back the National Stoke Foundation’s (NSF) action plan.

The proposed national action plan will be of particular benefit to the south-west because it has a higher-than-state-average incidence of stroke.

In the past 12 months, SWH Warrnambool has treated 108 stroke patients and 30 patients who have suffered a Transient Ischaemic Attack, commonly known as a mini-stroke.

High blood pressure is the most important known risk factor for stroke.

It is often called the silent killer because there might be no symptoms.

The proposed national action plan recommends regular blood pressure checks as part of a range of measures that include empowering Australians to identify and manage their health risk. 

Mr Groot is among the many who have joined the NSF’s online campaign that encourages people to send an email to local federal members of parliament calling for them to support the action plan.

The action plan is seeking $198 million over three years from the federal government for a comprehensive Australian Stroke Improvement Program.

The NSF said the stroke improvement program would result in significant improvements to the way stroke was managed in Australia. 

The program involves:

n Higher community awareness about stroke to achieve faster diagnosis and treatment.

n Better detection and management of community health risk with lower incidences of stroke and other major diseases.

n Improved standards of stroke care resulting in fewer deaths and lower levels of disability.

n A comprehensive approach to caring for and supporting stroke survivors as they recover in the community.

n Significant costs savings to the Australian public.

ehimmelreich@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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