Canada urgently needs a prescription for heart health

    The Cardiovascular Medical Community Calls for Support and Funding of the
    Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan

    OTTAWA, Feb. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - "The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and
Action Plan is the prescription that Canada urgently needs to ensure that
Canadians get timely and efficient patient-centred services and access to care
when they need it," says Dr. Charles R. Kerr, President of the Canadian
Cardiovascular Society. "The yet-to-be-funded action plan addresses the
prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the plan
identifies health system priorities to ensure proper care for patients at all
stages, from risk factor identification to acute care through to
rehabilitation and end-of-life planning."
    For the past 2 years, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society has been one of
the lead organizations involved in the development of the Canadian Heart
Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP), which aims to address the
prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases - from which more Canadians die
each year than any other illness. Two and a half million dollars ($2.5 M) in
funding was provided in 2006 by the Government of Canada for the development
of the Strategy and Action Plan, which was officially released today by Dr.
Eldon R. Smith, Chair, CHHS-AP Steering Committee, at a press conference in
Ottawa. No funding commitment has yet been made for implementation of the
Strategy and Action Plan.
    "While we certainly recognize the current and dire economic climate, the
Canadian Cardiovascular Society believes it makes economic sense to invest now
in cardiovascular disease prevention and care," added Dr. Kerr. "It is
estimated that the implementation of the heart health strategy would result in
savings to the economy of approximately $7.6 billion in direct costs and $14.6
billion in indirect costs of cardiovascular care by 2020. Our patients are
counting on this investment, not just for themselves, but for their children,
many of whom are already the new faces of cardiovascular disease that we, as
physicians, are now seeing on an increasing basis."
    "The Canadian Cardiovascular Society will do its utmost to lever existing
resources and assume a leadership role to develop consensus on national data
standards for patient registries. We also hope to work in partnership with
other organizations in other areas relating to health system reform and
patient care. But we can't do it alone -- we need the support of governments
at all levels, as well as the commitment of other stakeholders, to see the
heart health strategy and action plan through to fruition, for the ultimate
benefit of all Canadians," concluded Dr. Kerr.
    See the CHHS-AP website at and the CCS website at for further details.

    The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is the national voice for
cardiovascular physicians and scientists. Its mission is to promote
cardiovascular health and care through knowledge translation, professional
development, and leadership in health policy.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Louise Marcus, 1-877-569-3407 ext 412, cell:
(613) 222-2812

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