A better plan for stroke in Tasmania

February 12, 2018

The Stroke Foundation has welcomed today’s Tasmanian Liberals commitment, if elected, to deliver a better plan for stroke in Tasmania.

Premier Will Hodgman and Minister for Health Michael Ferguson made the announcement as part of a proposed $459 million boost to health in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Liberals’ Plan, if elected, included partnering with the Stroke Foundation to establish a ‘Community of practice’ to improve stroke treatment and care across the state, a Tasmanian Stroke Patient Follow up service to help Tasmanians live well after stroke and the expansion of F.A.S.T community education to ensure every Tasmanian household has someone who knows the signs of stroke.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said the funding would improve outcomes for the one in six who will suffer a stroke in their lifetime.

“Tasmania has the highest incidence of stroke per capita in Australia, this year alone Tasmanians will experience more than 1,500 strokes,’’ Ms McGowan said.

“Currently, Tasmanians are also more likely to die or be left with an ongoing disability from stroke as treatment and care in the state lags behind the rest of Australia. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

“Stroke can be treated and it can be beaten, but only if patients can access high quality stroke treatment and ongoing support in their recovery.

“Today’s commitment to action increasing awareness of stroke, improved stroke treatment, care and support will save lives and help more Tasmanians to live well after stroke,’’ she said.

Ms McGowan said the Stroke Foundation was now calling for leadership from all political parties to commit to key priorities to improve the state of stroke, outlined in its Bridging the stroke divide – a better plan for stroke platform.

“This election presents an opportunity to vastly improve access to stroke treatment and support in our state so more patients survive, avoid disability and recover,’’ she said.

“I welcome today’s commitment and call on all political parties to make stroke an election priority, recognising the looming challenge in our state.

“Stroke doesn’t discriminate – it impacts people across all walks of life, in all areas of the state. It is time we take a cross-party approach and bridge the divide so all Tasmanians have the opportunity to live well after stroke.”

Tasmanian stroke facts:
• One stroke every nine minutes in Australia.
• Almost 1,500 strokes estimated to be experienced by Tasmanians this year.
• More than 12,000 stroke survivors living in the local community.
• 65 percent of stroke survivors report living with an ongoing disability following their stroke.
• Stroke also impacts the Australian economy to the extent of $5 billion per year, including $3 billion in lost productivity. 
• F.A.S.T is an easy way to recognise and remember the signs of stroke.