Since the November 2016 event, the department has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders to develop and implement a comprehensive Thunderstorm Asthma Program to minimise the impact that any future epidemic thunderstorm asthma events may have on the community and the Victorian health system.
The program comprises:
- a public health campaign and education programs for the community and health professionals
- a Real-time Health Emergency Monitoring System, ensuring we can more quickly recognise and better manage a surge in demand on our health services
- a revised State Health Emergency Response Plan and State Health Emergency Response Arrangements to improve how we plan, communicate and work with our health services during emergencies and better meet community health needs
- a Victorian epidemic thunderstorm asthma forecasting system, including an expanded Victorian pollen monitoring network
- an investment in research to better understand the phenomena of epidemic thunderstorm asthma
- emergency management training for hospital and health sector staff.
Public health campaign
The department has developed a public health campaign about epidemic thunderstorm asthma to raise awareness of thunderstorm asthma, help the public prepare for the grass pollen season and improve asthma and hay fever management. Information about the public health campaign can be found on the Better Health