National Asthma Strategy launch group photo
(L – R) Matt Hall (Australian Primary Care Nurses Association), Siobhan Brophy (National Asthma Council), Amelia Barden (AFLW Collingwood player), Oscar Zosel, The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP, Minister for Health, Joe Demarte (Pharmaceutical Society of Australia), Shane Jackson (Pharmaceutical Society of Australia), Dr Zena Burgess (RACGP) and Dr Simon Judkins (President Australasian College for Emergency Medicine)

Launched in 2018, the latest National Asthma Strategy is the national plan for reducing the impact of asthma on individuals, the community and the economy – taking Australia to the next stage of improvement in asthma health outcomes and research endeavours. 

Led by the National Asthma Council with involvement from a wide range of individuals and organisations, and funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, the latest strategy is available here

Guided by the national strategy, NAC is developing innovative projects and resources including its Rethinking Written Asthma Action Plan Project which employ a collaborative co-design approach while drawing upon best-practice standards and its network of experts.   

About the Strategy

Australia’s first National Asthma Strategy was developed in 1999 by the National Asthma Council Australia in collaboration with asthma stakeholders and published as the National Asthma Strategy Implementation Plan 1999.

This was followed by the National Asthma Action Plan 1999–2002 and National Asthma Strategy 2006–2008

Asthma management has progressed considerably since then despite there being an absence of a formal national strategy until 2018.

Who was involved?

The National Asthma Council brought together a wide range of stakeholders including people with asthma, key respiratory organisations, health professional bodies, other relevant organisations and the Federal, State and Territory Governments for an extensive consultation process.

The Asthma Foundations of each state and territory were involved individually as well as through their national body, Asthma Australia.

Our principal Advisory Group consisted of representatives from:

  • National Asthma Council Australia
  • Asthma Australia
  • Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
  • Australian Centre for Airways Disease Monitoring (formerly ACAM)
  • Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
  • Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand

What was the process?

The strategy was developed from 2015–2017 and involved:

  • Scoping work including audits of previous Australian and international strategies
  • Preliminary stakeholder survey, open to all
  • Development of draft strategy outline with the Advisory Group
  • Targeted consultation with a wider stakeholder network using the outline as a basis; this included a Stakeholder Roundtable to facilitate consultation with certain organisations
  • Pulling together consultation feedback to develop a draft strategy
  • Public consultation on a draft strategy, review and revision in response to feedback
  • Fine-tuning considering related chronic disease reforms and initiatives
  • Presentation of the final publication to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council for endorsement by the Australian Government Minister of Health.

Major milestones

Stakeholder survey

Our National Asthma Strategy preliminary stakeholder survey was conducted in February–March 2015 and was designed to help us understand priorities and challenges from different perspectives across the asthma world.

We received hundreds of insightful, compassionate and expert replies from people with asthma and their families, health professionals treating people with asthma, and those who care about how Australia tackles asthma. 

Draft outline

Developed by the Advisory Group in March–April 2015, the outline covered the strategy scope and established the document structure and overarching framework. Potential priority areas for action were identified, considering gains made over the past 20 years.

Targeted consultation

Held in May 2015 as part of our targeted consultation with a wide stakeholder network, the Stakeholder Roundtable comprised over 40 people representing organisations from across the health and respiratory sector, with Australian Government Department of Health sponsors also taking part. 

National Asthma Council Australia’s and Asthma Australia’s standing committees conferred, and individual experts were consulted as part of this phase.

Draft strategy

This was developed with the Advisory Group in July 2015, considering feedback received during targeted consultation. The initial outline was adapted into a 1-page framework capturing key objectives and priority areas.

Public consultation

Public consultation was held during August 2015, with one hundred different people and organisations with an interest in how Australia faces the challenge of asthma providing responses that covered the breadth and depth of those touched by the plan. The draft Strategy was fundamentally supported by those who responded.

Review and revision

The draft strategy was reviewed and revised by the Advisory Group in September 2015 in response to public consultation feedback and was circulated to the Department of Health to facilitate the next stage of development.

Strategic alignment

Throughout 2016 and 2017, we worked with the Department of Health to fine-tune the strategy, considering the latest developments in related chronic disease reforms and initiatives, and government jurisdiction feedback. This included close consideration of the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions.

Endorsement and launch

The final strategy was submitted for endorsement to the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council by the Minister of Health in late 2017 and was launched on the 31 January 2018 by Federal Health Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt, MP.