THE Heart Foundation has called on all Victorian political parties to make prevention and treatment of heart disease a priority for this November’s state-election, highlighting six areas where the next state government can improve voter’s heart health and reduce hospital admissions.
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Diana Heggie said heart disease is Victoria’s leading cause of premature death and is responsible for too many avoidable hospital admissions.
“Heart disease puts an enormous financial strain on our health system in Victoria with treatment costing hospitals approximately $400 million a year. That’s more than $1 million a day,” Ms Heggie said.
“The next government has the opportunity to help prevent heart disease and improve treatment for the 300,000 Victorians living with the condition.”
The six recommendations are:
– Introduce a nurse-led early detection and screening program in heart attack hot spots to identify people at risk of heart attack or stroke
– Boost access to cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention to improve recovery from heart attack
– Educate Victorians about the warning signs of heart attack
– Amend the Tobacco Act to make outdoor dining and drinking areas smoke-free
– Amend the Planning and Environment Act to ensure health is a consideration in urban design
– Implement mandatory kilojoule labelling at fast food outlets that have 20 or more sites in Victoria or 50 or more nationally.
“More can and should be done to reduce the number of patients who fall through the cracks after hospital treatment.
“Better access to cardiac rehabilitation is crucial, as it boosts recovery and reduces the likelihood that patients will have a secondary event and be readmitted to hospital for further expensive medical treatment.
“With the number of people living with heart disease expected to rise by 36% over the next decade, we need political parties to act now to prevent heart disease and improve treatment for Victorians,” Ms Heggie said.
Source: The Heart Foundation