South Scotland MSP Emma Harper will today (Tuesday) lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark World COPD Day, which falls on November 15th.


The local MSP – who convenes the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on lung Health – will use the debate to highlight the importance of a national Scottish plan to tackle poor lung health.


Ms Harper will also host a parliamentary event tomorrow (Wednesday), that MSPs can attend to learn more about how they can support constituents with COPD. The Minister for Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP will be in attendance to speak in detail about action the Scottish Government is taking.


Ms Harper said:

“COPD is a progressive and long-term lung condition without a cure, which affects a recorded 129,000 people in Scotland, but with many more people undiagnosed. COPD, describes a number of lung conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
“The inequality around the disease is stark. Someone from the most deprived areas of Scotland is more than twice as likely to have COPD and we are witnessing a dramatic increase in the number of women with COPD. 
“We know that there were nearly 10,000 deaths from COPD in Scotland in 2011 and this number is expected to rise to nearly 14, 000 by 2030.
“Evidence suggests that existing health care provision for these patients is reactive and focuses on acute exacerbations. 
“Despite having similar poor prognosis, high levels of morbidity and comparable mortality to other serious conditions such as lung cancer, people with COPD do not get the same access to specialist support and services.
“The Scottish Government has committed to a plan to improve lung health in Scotland.  And I look forward to hearing from the Minister soon on what support the Scottish Government can provide for a Respiratory Task Force in Scotland, to build on the existing work of the Scottish Advisory Group, and charge them with the development of a Lung Health Improvement Plan for Scotland.”