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Monday, 7 November 2016
Page: 3010


Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (11:01): I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) National Stroke Week:

   (i) ran from 12 to 18 September 2016; and

   (ii) is about raising awareness to prevent stroke in Australia; and

(b) the National Stroke Foundation encourages all Australians to:

   (i) be aware of what stroke is, how to recognise a stroke and what to do;

   (ii) live healthy to reduce the risk of stroke; and

      (iii) get a regular health check;

(2) acknowledges the:

(a) launch by the Minister for Health in June 2015 of the Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard; and

(b) bi-partisan work done by past governments in the area of stroke; and

(3) notes the requirement for greater awareness and promotion of the prevention of stroke within the Australian community.

Stroke is a time critical emergency, caused when blood supply to the brain is interrupted owing to a blocked or bleeding artery. This prevents the flow of oxygen and vital nutrients, resulting in sudden impairment that can affect a range of functions and, at worst, can lead to significant disability or be fatal. Stroke and its effects place a significant physical, emotional and financial burden on patients, their families, carers and loved ones and, by extension, on the wider community. Community awareness and the promotion of the prevention of stroke are paramount to improving outcomes after stroke. A timely response and rapid access to treatment are crucially important.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in Australia, with over 50,000 strokes each year. In 2015, within my electorate of Chisholm alone, over 900 stroke and transient ischaemic attack, TIA, patients presented to Eastern Health's Box Hill Hospital and over 100 patients received a brain-saving clot-busting medication, equating to more than two calls each day. Mr David Plunkett is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Health's Box Hill Hospital, which encapsulates expertise in relation to strokes. The hospital has seen a disturbing surge in the demand for its stroke expertise, with a 48 per cent increase in stroke and TIA presentations and a 102 per cent increase in urgent stroke calls. On a proud note, the Box Hill Hospital received a certificate of achievement for being a top performer in the provision of intravenous thrombolysis for ischaemic stroke and for discharging patients with stroke on anti-hypertensive medication in 2015.

The Turnbull government is funding quality clinical research into stroke, and the update of the clinical guidelines for acute stroke management. This will ensure that medical practitioners across Australia continue to be guided by current best practice evidence when organising the care management and rehabilitation of their stroke patients.

Also in the Chisholm electorate, there is Monash University's Health, Stroke and Ageing Research Group, consisting of four divisions headed by mentoring and research experts. The centre adopts a transdisciplinary approach to research and clinical translation in the fields of cerebrovascular disease, including acute stroke and stroke prevention. It proudly leads international studies and secondary prevention trials in stroke and several projects aimed at improving the quality of stroke care in hospitals, telemedicine provision in regional hospitals, as well as the use of behavioural techniques to improve stroke outcome in patients.

Working closely with the health professionals, patients, carers, government and the community, the National Stroke Foundation is Australia's peak not-for-profit organisation, committed to increasing awareness of risk factors and signs of stroke, reducing the impact of stroke and, indeed, preventing stroke through a number of important programs, some of which would not be possible without the Turnbull government's support. These include: The FAST program, which teaches Australians the most common signs of stroke; the Know Your Numbers! program, which aims to raise awareness of high blood pressure; Australia's Biggest Blood Pressure Check, which enables opportunistic health checks it and community settings; the StrokeConnect program; and a plethora of educational resources. The NSF is also responsible for developing clinical guidelines to assist medical practitioners in providing treatment and rehabilitation to stroke survivors.

National Stroke Week, held in September this year, is the Stroke Foundation's annual awareness campaign and it focuses its efforts to encourage all Australians to understand the impact that time has on stroke. An urgent response to the onset of a stroke not only influences the treatment path for the person having a stroke but also their long-term recovery. The Acute Stroke Clinical Care Standard Initiative, launched by the Turnbull government in June last year, is aimed at improving the early assessment and management of patients with stroke and supporting the delivery of appropriate care to ensure optimal treatment during the acute phase of management regardless of their geographic location. Commonwealth funding has also recently been provided to support education and awareness activity through the Stroke Safe Ambassador program and through the FAST campaign.

The Turnbull government is committed to reducing the impact of stroke on the broader community and looks forward to continuing to work with the National Stroke Foundation to improve support to all Australians and their families affected by stroke.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Claydon ): Is the motion seconded?

Ms Flint: I second the motion and reserve my right to speak.