AUSTRALIAN doctors are being urged to help people who are experiencing a severe asthma attack by administering oxygen to the respiratory tract.
The move is the latest step in an ongoing effort by the Government to increase the availability of oxygen to those suffering from asthma attacks.
The Government recently increased the price of oxygen by $200 a litre, from $250 to $300.
The rise is designed to ensure that the cost of the supply will not fall on the pockets of people who have been unable to afford it previously.
The increased price will also help ensure that people will not have to wait in long lines for oxygen, which is the main reason doctors are now urging doctors to use oxygen when treating patients.
It will also allow doctors to prescribe oxygen for patients who are having difficulty breathing.
“We’ve been working on this for quite a while,” said Dr Caroline Smith from the Victorian Society of Anaesthetists.
“And it’s been a really good result.”
There is a bit of a bit more concern that there are some people who can’t get oxygen into their lungs.
“But there is no doubt in my mind that there will be a big reduction in the number of people with asthma attacks in the future.”
The rise in oxygen prices has been welcomed by the Victorian Health Authority (VHA), which has warned that the change will affect the quality of care provided to patients.
“It is our view that the higher price of the oxygen supply will have a significant impact on quality of service and outcomes,” VHA CEO Greg Gascoyne said.
“The increase in the price is the most obvious way that this is affecting the quality and quantity of care delivered to patients.”
The VHA also said that the new price was not justified given the amount of time that patients spend in an airway.
“People are spending a lot of time in their lungs and if they don’t get air into their mouth, they will choke, they won’t be able to swallow, they’ll have difficulty breathing,” Dr Smith said.
But the VHA has warned it may take a few months for the new prices to come into effect.
“If the price goes up it’s going to mean people have to buy a new supply, and if it’s a $200 one-litre supply, it’s very difficult for people to afford,” Dr Gascayne said, adding that this could be a problem for some families.
“So it’s hard to say how quickly this will be put into effect.”