Asthma costs the state €472m per year

Asthma costs the state €472m per year

Asthma is costing the state €472m each year - or over 1,200 per person.

That is just one of the findings of new in-depth research from the Asthma Society of Ireland into the impact of the disease on society.

The research shows that just over 1 in 5 people in Ireland suffered from asthma at some stage in their life, with 1 in 13 currently affected by the disease.

In 2017, there were 2.4 million visits by an asthma sufferer to a GP, 421,000 to a specialist and 133,000 to an emergency department.

There were 8,000 admissions to hospital, with the average stay being 68 days.

The Asthma Society of Ireland says a self-management programme needs to be set up for sufferers.

They say it could lead to a 50% reduction in hospital admissions and potentially save the state 102 million euro.

CEO of the Asthma Society, Sarah O'Connor, said the research shows there needs to be a re-think of how asthma is managed in Ireland.

She said: "Essentially what they tell us structurally is that we're getting asthma management wrong.

"We're putting a system in place that solely revolves the patient in crisis but doesn't actually create long term control or to allow the patient to feel well and good in their daily lives."

The research also shows that compared to 14 other European countries, Ireland had the highest death rate from asthma in 2015.

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