Launch of CVD Health Policy
Statement by the Irish Heart Foundation responding to the launch of the National Cardiovascular Health Policy 2010-2019 – Changing Cardiovascular Health.
10th June 2010
Dr Angie Brown, Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation said: “After a two-year wait, the Irish Heart Foundation welcomes the launch of the new cardiovascular policy which includes stroke for the first time. Up to 10,000 people die each year of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) which remains the leading cause of death in this country. Given predictions of a 40% increase by 2020 in heart attack, stroke and other chronic conditions, we urgently need to adapt our services and strategies as a country to meet the changing face of Cardiovascular Disease because although deaths may be falling, the prevalence of it is rising.
“Cardiovascular health is about maintaining health as well as providing care to those with problems. In this regard, the policy’s new 10-year targets for behavior change in the overall population are very welcome, particularly targets to reduce smoking by 1% per annum over 10 years.
“In relation to stroke, this report is groundbreaking and provides a blueprint for the delivery of truly world class services in Ireland. At present there are up to 500 avoidable deaths in Ireland each year because of the lack of an adequate network of stroke units. The latest HSE study reported that just 2% of patients are receiving the potentially life-saving clot busting treatment, thrombolysis. And just one in four stroke survivors have been recorded as having received acute rehabilitation.
“Implementing the report would transform this bleak picture by eliminating avoidable death and disability from stroke in this country. We also welcome new recommendations to extend rehabilitation focus to all stroke patients and the proposal to use existing expertise from cardiac rehabilitation which was prioritized in the last strategy. But delivery of a comprehensive stroke service cannot be achieved without funding. The costs involved are small and much of the outlay will be recouped as a result of reduced numbers of stroke patients, shorter hospital stays and substantially lower nursing home costs due to lower levels of dependency. On behalf of heart and stroke patients all around the country, our charity will be closely monitoring implementation of this policy.”
Media queries to Caroline Cullen, Communications Manager, Irish Heart Foundation
Tel: 01-6346908 Mobile: 086-6049282
Footnote 1: Making Chronic Conditions Count by the Institute of Public Health, 2010.
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