Conservatives Commit $10 Million in Initial Funding for First-ever Action Plan on Lung Health

Lung Association lauds demonstration of leadership on priority health issue, urges other national parties to commit to funding action plan on lung health

OTTAWA, Oct. 9 – The Lung Association today congratulated the Conservative Party of Canada for being the first federal party to publicly pledge funding towards Canada’s first national action plan on lung health – the National Lung Health Framework.“Today’s announcement by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is great news for the millions of Canadians who suffer from respiratory diseases,” said Nora Sobolov, President and CEO of The Lung Association, “We have been urging all parties, throughout this election, to publicly commit to implementing a national action plan on lung health for Canadians that will achieve real results and today we are gratified by the leadership role demonstrated by the Conservative Party.”

Following through on their platform commitment to invest in creative measures to improve the lung health of Canadians, the Conservatives have pledged – if re-elected – to make an initial investment of $10 million towards implementing the National Lung Health Framework.

The National Lung Health Framework is an ambitious plan that will work to lower rates of lung disease in Canada. It will improve the respiratory health of all people living in Canada through collaborative and equitable patient care, policy, programming, research and leadership. It is an action plan that recognizes the key link between the environment and lung health, and that will take steps to address both indoor and outdoor air quality issues. It should be noted that the National Lung Health Framework is the first health strategy in the world that tackles both environment and health and is the result of collaboration among dozens of organizations and hundreds of volunteers dedicated to reducing the burden of lung disease in Canada.

The Framework is the optimal approach – and model – to addressing chronic disease prevention, treatment and management. It is the right approach to health promotion and one that will have a lasting impact on the health of Canadians and all people living in Canada.

While The Lung Association was pleased by questionnaire responses of the Liberal Party, in which they committed to work towards the objectives and implementation of the Framework, as well as the responses of the New Democratic Party and Green Party which both pledged in principle to fund the Framework, the Association is urging these three national parties to publicly commit to investing in a plan that will improve lung health in Canada. Without action, Canadian children and families will see higher rates of asthma, more Canadians suffering with COPD and lung cancer, increased hospitalizations, loss of clinical and medical capacity as well as research capacity.

Once fully implemented, the National Lung Health Framework will:

o Position Canada as a global health leader: it is the first-ever health strategy in the world that tackles environment and health;
o Lay out a clear plan for chronic disease prevention, management and treatment – the Framework is a model in alignment with the World Health Organization’s approach to chronic disease prevention, management and treatment1;
o Make Canadians a partner in their own health care and management through education, awareness programs and other initiatives;
o Result in reduced health care costs, improved access to care, lower wait times and hospitalizations;
o Lower rates of lung disease among First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities through partnership and collaboration, and make real progress in addressing health disparities among these communities;
o Build lasting partnerships among key stakeholders, including provincial/territorial governments, patients, health experts, scientists, clinicians, environmentalists, and industry, to improve respiratory health.

For information on the National Lung Health Framework, please visit www.lung.ca/framework.

Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues.

1The WHO has a four pillar approach to chronic disease prevention, management and treatment around the following disease groups: respiratory, cancer, diabetes and heart. The Lung Health Framework positions Canada within this model.

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