The respiratory community needs to stop ‘bagging’ the Lung Foundation and start supporting it says its President.
In a speech to delegates as part of the LFA awards David Serisier said the organisation was the best vehicle to advance respiratory health in Australia but it needed the support of thoracic society members if it were to achieve that goal.
“We hope to be the body that can drive political advocacy, the education of consumers and drive research funding in the lung health area but we need the respiratory community to be involved.”
“If you believe in the broader issue of lung health we want you to become a member and advocate for the Lung Foundation,” he said.
One of the organisations goals this year is to connect with clinicians and physicians in hospitals.
“We want you to refer your patients when they come to clinic… These are the ways we generate funds and by generating funds we can do more,” said Serisier.
There was a perception in the scientific community that the Lung Foundation does not fund research and are not doing enough, he said.
“I agree that we’re not doing enough but I think [a lack of funding] is a misconception.”
The LFA had recently been compared to its British counterpart and criticised for not supporting research to the same extent.
But when Serisier looked at the Annual reports for each organisation the British Lung Foundation had put 8.7% of its funds to research compared to the Lung Foundation’s 20.4% (this figure included registries).
“I don’t want to get too cross but it is time that the respiratory community and thoracic society stopped bagging our Lung Foundation and started supporting it,” he said.
“I’d say the difference between the British Lung Foundation and the Australian Lung Foundation is not what we put into research but the perception and the esteem that the society is held in,” he added.