The Liberal National Government will invest a further $4 million to tackle heart disease and stroke on top of recently announced measures to address these deadly conditions.
In 2017 alone, more than 100,000 Australians experienced a heart attack or stroke and cardiovascular disease was the underlying cause of 43,500 deaths in Australia.
Stroke is also responsible for more than 10,000 deaths in Australia each year.
Heart disease and stroke are a heavy burden on the patient as well as family, friends and the wider community.
This $4 million investment support priorities outlined in the National Strategic Action Plan for Heart Disease and Stroke, which includes:
- prevention and early detection
- treatment and diagnosis
- support and care
The Stroke Foundation is to receive $800,000 to support the National F.A.S.T. and heart attack warning signs, community education campaign, and work to raise awareness of the signs of stroke and heart attacks and their risk factors.
Funding of $500,000 will also be provided to update the 2012 Absolute Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment Guidelines to reflect current best practice evidence. Revision of these guidelines will ensure health professionals have the latest data to better detect cardiovascular disease and manage patients with the condition.
Organisations with the appropriate expertise will share in $1 million to develop initiatives to support Australians at high risk of heart disease and stroke.
A further $1.7 million will be allocated for activities to support Australians following an event of heart disease or stroke.
This latest funding is on top of major announcements to tackle stroke and heart disease.
A few weeks ago I announced the creation of a new Medicare item for heart health checks, ensuring Australians at risk of heart disease receive timely and appropriate medical advice.
From this week a new dedicated Medicare item for heart health checks will support General Practitioners and patients in assessing cardiovascular risk.
Our Government also announced $35 million for the development of a vaccine to combat rheumatic heart disease.
The funding provided from the Medical Research Future Fund will allow fast-tracking and funding of clinical trials, and the commercial production of a vaccine for use in Australia and internationally.
Rheumatic heart disease claims the lives of up to 150 mainly young Australians a year, and 500,000 people worldwide.
We also allocated $20 million for the Congenital Heart Disease project to support research grants into congenital heart disease through our Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund.
In partnership with the NSW Government, we have committed $9.4 million to a Centralised Stroke Telehealth Service that will provide 24/7 access to specialist clinical advice for the management of acute ischaemic stroke patients at regional and rural patients.
Additionally, since 2013 the Coalition Government has provided $662.2 million for research into cardiovascular disease and $7.7 billion to subsidise medicine to treat cardiovascular disease on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
These measures will save and protect lives.
Our plan for a strong economy continues to deliver record funding for essential health services that saves lives.