Information updates

Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis - Report Released

Updated 1 July 2020

The Report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis Walking the allergy tightrope - Addressing the rise of allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia was tabled on Monday 15 June 2020 in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.  pdfWalking the allergy tightrope1.15 MB

ASCIA welcomes the recommendations in the Report and the recognition of ASCIA’s pivotal and leading role in improving the care of Australians with allergic disease. 

ASCIA takes this opportunity to thank the Health Minister, Hon Greg Hunt MP for the continued recognition, acknowledgement and support of issues regarding allergies and anaphylaxis by the Australian government, which led to his announcement of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis at the national ASCIA Conference in September 2019.

ASCIA also thanks the Committee Chair, Trent Zimmerman MP, Deputy Chair, Dr Mike Freelander MP, panel members including Dr Katie Allen MP, and the committee Secretariat for their excellent work in conducting this Inquiry, as well as the individuals and organisations who made submissions to the Inquiry.

ASCIA is looking forward to working closely with the Australian Government over the coming months in response to the Report recommendations. 

To view the Australian Government media release about the Report go to:
 
To view the Report go to: 

To view the ASCIA submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Allergies and Anaphylaxis, the ASCIA opening address to the Inquiry hearing and the ASCIA pre-budget 2020-2021 submission go to www.allergy.org.au/ascia-reports#s1

Whilst ASCIA supports all of the recommendations in the Report, we believe that implementing certain key recommendations as a priority will address major issues and result in significant improvements to the health of Australians with allergic disease, with immediate and long term impact. We have grouped the relevant issues along common ‘themes’ as shown in the table below.

 Issues

Report recommendations

Education, Training and Resources for Health Professionals

5

Access to Care – Workforce, Telehealth and MBS Item Numbers 

6, 7, 8, 13, 23

Collaborations and Research

1, 2

Implementation of these Report recommendations (listed below) will:

  • Improve education and training in allergies and anaphylaxis for health professionals.
  • Improve access to care through workforce, telehealth and item number changes.
  • Standardise allergy care and management to improve the quality of patient care.
  • Increase research into allergies and anaphylaxis.
Education, Training and Resources for Health Professionals

Recommendation 5:

The Committee recommends that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) receive ongoing long term funding to continue its partnership work with the Department of Health and the National Allergy Strategy, to develop minimum standards of allergy training for health professionals including:

  • funding for the promotion of the e-resources ASCIA has already developed to all relevant communities throughout Australia;
  • minimum standards of allergy training in the curriculum for all university medical schools and training of general practitioners, physicians and paediatricians, nurse practitioners, psychologists, dietitians, and paramedics; and
  • funding support for ASCIA to provide training for all health professionals listed above.
Access to Care – Workforce, Telehealth and MBS Item Numbers

Recommendation 6 

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide telehealth funding support for doctors and allied health workers in order to provide professional services and support to allergy patients in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Recommendation 7  

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government consider a Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) item number for food challenges carried out by appropriate clinicians.

Recommendation 8  

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provides funding for a public health system drug de-labelling program including:

  • developing a program in the public health system to run community education campaigns to encourage people to participate in drug allergy de-labelling programs;
  • create clinical guidelines for drug allergy de-labelling; and
  • give consideration to the need for a Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) item number for drug allergy testing and drug allergy challenges.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with states and territories to:

  • review the sufficiency of the current allergist and immunologist workforce in hospitals throughout Australia; and
  • ensure that there is funding for increased placements of these specialists in all hospitals (if a need is found).

Recommendation 23  

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government give consideration of how best to increase the utilisation of nurses and allied health care workers to support the care of patients with allergic disease.

Collaborations and Research

Recommendation 1 

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government work with the states and territories to establish a National Centre for Allergies and Anaphylaxis in Australia, to ensure there is a national standardised approach to allergy management.  

Recommendation 2  

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government dedicate additional funding into food allergies and anaphylaxis research, in particular funding for:

  • the Centre for Food and Allergy Research (CFAR) so it can continue its work past 2022 (if Recommendation 1 has not been implemented by expanding CFAR to become a National Centre for Allergies and Anaphylaxis);
  • clinical research into food allergy treatments (including allergies outside of peanut allergy) in particular into food based oral immunotherapy, including head-to-head trials (trials with no placebo);
  • research into emerging allergic diseases such as eosinophilic oesophagitis and food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES);
  • research into the social and psychological effects of allergies and anaphylaxis; and
  • establishing a national register for anaphylactic episodes and death.
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