The Health Policy Partnership (HPP) has initiated the Thought Leadership Forum on Cardiovascular Disease to stimulate strategic debate on cardiovascular disease (CVD) policy and equip advocates to make an impactful case for change.
Despite many successes in addressing CVD in recent years, most notably helping to drive improvements in life expectancy, progress has stalled and risk factors are on the rise. CVD is still the number one cause of death in Europe, claiming approximately four million lives in 2017, and this number is steadily rising. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously disrupted services for CVD prevention and care.
Few European governments, however, have a substantial policy on CVD to guide health systems to address current weaknesses and prepare for the future. If we are to secure better outcomes for people living with CVD, there needs to be a new generation of strategic leadership.
As a first statement of intent for this forum, HPP has published a discussion paper, Making the case for political urgency in cardiovascular disease. The paper provides an overview of the scale and burden of CVD and identifies key opportunities for policy action. It focuses on four major cardiovascular conditions (atherosclerotic CVD, atrial fibrillation, heart failure and heart valve disease), highlighting their common needs and opportunities for joint policy action.
‘It is clear that many decision-makers do not realise the scale of avoidable mortality and hospital admissions at stake, nor the importance of CVD to many of society’s wider goals, such as sustainable health systems and economic growth. This work will explore and clarify these narratives, and seeks to bring fresh interest to CVD from policymakers.’
Ed Harding, Managing Director, HPP