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Health | New national cardiovascular strategy

To ask the Minister for Health the plans, if any, to introduce a new national cardiovascular strategy in Ireland given the rising number of persons who are suffering from a form of cardiovascular disease; if any evaluation has been done as to the success of any previous strategy in this regard; if not, when same will be undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Cardiovascular disease has been declining as a cause of death in Ireland, in line with trends throughout the Western World.  This trend was reported in 1999 in Building Healthier Hearts, recording that death rates from CHD declined across all ages from the late 1970s through to the 1990s.  This trend was further recorded in Changing Cardiovascular Health, noting that over 30-year period from 1980, age-standardised death rates from diseases of the circulatory system in Ireland had decreased by 67% in those both under and over 65 years of age. This declining trend in Ireland has continued in recent years.

In 2018, the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services was established by the Minister for Health to review the delivery of cardiac services nationally. The Review seeks to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive. The National Review covers scheduled and unscheduled hospital-based services for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease in adults. Moreover, the Review considers the delivery of cardiac services nationally with a focus on the current prevention, detection and treatments of cardiovascular disease.

The COVID-19 Pandemic impacted on the progress of the review during 2020 and into 2021 as the Chair of the National Review has played a key role in the national COVID-19 response as a member of the NPHET and Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group. However, the Cardiac Services Review is now making progress again, and the Steering Group reconvened in September 2021 with a view to finalisation of the Report. The Steering Group most recently met on 26/05/2022 and the next meeting is being planned. The Steering Group is currently working on the development of the proposed recommendations of the draft Report.


Dept of Health

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