More needed for strokes

Myrtleford Times - - News -

THE Stroke Foun­da­tion wel­comes the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s $4.2 bil­lion bud­get boost to health an­nounced in the state bud­get on May 1, but we call for in­creased ac­cess to emer­gency stroke treat­ment as well as im­proved ac­cess to health ser­vices for stroke sur­vivors when they leave hos­pi­tal.

It was en­cour­ag­ing to see the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment ‘get­ting things done’ by in­creas­ing in­vest­ment in paramedics and hos­pi­tals.

It is now vi­tal we en­sure Vic­to­ri­ans who ex­pe­ri­ence stroke are ac­cess­ing these ser­vices.

Vic­to­ria is home to some of Aus­tralia’s and the world’s lead­ing minds in stroke.

We have some of the best emer­gency stroke treat­ment in the coun­try, but not enough Vic­to­ri­ans are ac­cess­ing it.

Cur­rently, just 39 per­cent of Vic­to­rian stroke pa­tients are ar­riv­ing at hos­pi­tal within the 4.5 hour win­dow for clot bust­ing treat­ment – treat­ment we know saves lives and im­proves out­comes for strokepa­tients.

Why? Sim­ply be­cause not enough Vic­to­ri­ans know how to recog­nise the signs of stroke and call an am­bu­lance.

Stroke can be treated and it can be beaten, but only if pa­tients can ac­cess the right treat­ment F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to recg­nise the signs of stroke.

Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arms – Can they lift both arms?

Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they un­der­stand you?

Time – Time is crit­i­cal. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

The $25 mil­lion Bet­ter Care Vic­to­ria In­no­va­tion Fund pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to in­crease ac­cess to emer­gency and ur­gent care by en­sur­ing some­one in ev­ery Vic­to­rian house­hold knows the signs of stroke.

It also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to give all Vic­to­ri­ans a fairer fu­ture af­ter stroke by con­nect­ing them with ser­vices and sup­ports they need af­ter leav­ing hos­pi­tal.

I look for­ward to see­ing more de­tail on the Fund and work­ing with Bet­ter Care Vic­to­ria to en­hance ac­cess to ser­vices and im­prove health ser­vice qual­ity and per­for­mance.

Stroke Foun­da­tion also wel­comed the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing health ser­vices in re­gional ar­eas, con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to the State Dis­abil­ity Plan and men­tal health ini­tia­tives.

I look for­ward to work­ing with Min­is­ter for Health, Jill Hen­nessy. Sharon McGowan, chief

ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Stroke Foun­da­tion

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