Heart Failure Policy Network launches European Heart Failure Mission Statement at European Parliament event

20 November 2023

On 25 October 2023, the Heart Failure Policy Network, which The Health Policy Partnership runs as secretariat, launched the landmark European Heart Failure Mission Statement at the European Parliament in Brussels. Over 50 experts attended the event, including clinicians, patient advocates and political representatives from 15 European countries.

Hosted by Billy Kelleher MEP, the event saw attendees discuss the current barriers to good heart failure care in Europe and why heart failure must be driven to the top of the European Union’s (EU’s) policy agenda.

The Heart Failure Policy Mission is a multi-year policy campaign aiming to secure political recognition and investment for heart failure. The Mission Statement contains six specific calls to action for the European Commission to prioritise heart failure.

The need for a comprehensive approach to heart failure

In a pre-recorded address, Irish Tánaiste (deputy head of government) Micheál Martin highlighted the need for ‘a Europe where members worked together to build a deeper understanding of the diverse causes of heart failure’. Brando Benifei, co-chair of the MEP heart group, underlined the Tánaiste’s comments, highlighting the ‘need for an autonomic cardiovascular plan’.

Billy Kelleher MEP also noted that the Mission launch was ‘a hugely important moment to make heart failure a key political priority’ in Europe.

Members of the Heart Failure Policy Network heard from experts on how outcomes can be improved for people with heart failure in the EU. One topic of discussion was developing integrated and optimised care pathways to improve the patient journey from detection to treatment and care.

Aistė Štaraitė, Chair of the Global Heart Hub Heart Failure Patient Council, spoke on the need for people with heart failure and their carers to have greater involvement in research to ensure the patient voice is centred.

Members were later joined by Dr Fergal Donnelly, Principal Scientific Officer of the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, for a Q&A where he answered questions on how advocates can target their efforts to best drive policy forward for heart failure in the EU.

A joint solution to the heart failure challenge

Launching the Mission Statement, Dr Luis Fillipe Pereira, President of AADIC (Portugal’s heart failure patient association), said that the issue of heart failure was felt across the EU, that no single country could solve it alone, and that it required an EU-level response. He added that, ‘at the political level, policymakers should recognise heart failure’.

Network members at the event were emphatic in their support for the Mission and eager to pool their collective experience and knowledge to advocate for improved outcomes for people with heart failure.

You can read the mission statement here.