MEPs are coming together to support calls for an EU strategy on heart failure
PHOTO: “15 million hearts, 15 million lives” dinner debate and launch of the Written Declaration on Heart Failure at the European Parliament.
A new European Parliament Written Declaration has been launched with the support of 29 MEPs, calling on the EU to help millions of heart failure sufferers gain the comprehensive care and support they urgently need and prevent the condition in millions more.
Heart failure is a highly prevalent and costly condition that presents an immense social and economic burden across Europe. The condition affects 15 million Europeans and, without concerted action, this number is forecast to rise by 25% by 2030.
One in five Europeans risks developing heart failure, yet it is often described as a forgotten chronic condition and public awareness of the symptoms is worryingly low.
Unfortunately, very few European governments have national plans of action or dedicated policies to reduce heart failure prevalence. The adoption of a Written Declaration on heart failure would be an important first step in taking urgent concerted action on heart failure policy across Europe, following decades of neglect.
The official launch of Written Declaration number 0110/2016 was organised by the Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN) which is calling on MEPs to actively support the campaign to #SaveHearts in Europe and most importantly, sign the declaration so that it can be considered by the European Commission.
The Written Declaration calls on the European Commission to:
- Encourage Member States to create comprehensive national plans to drive improvement and collect adequate data on heart failure
- Create a Europe-wide strategy to support public awareness, patient advocacy, and exchange of research and best practice in heart failure
- Support training on heart failure among GPs and internists, and specialisation and accreditation of training for nurses and allied health professionals.
The declaration is supported by European and national organisations from patient advocacy groups, physicians, professional societies, and other policy commentators – all calling for strong leadership by both national and European policy makers to address this severe and debilitating condition. All agree that access to quality care needs to be improved and action is needed to address the major inequalities that persist across Europe.
Ms Annie Schreijer-Pierik, MEP, host of the launch event, said:
"It is wonderful to see so many politicians starting to realise the seriousness of Heart Failure. One in five Europeans is at risk of being affected: that means that every European knows several friends or relatives at risk. Patients deserve proper attention and care. And most of all, we should prevent people from becoming future heart failure patients. Therefore, we urgently call for campaigns for prevention, awareness raising and information on the condition."
Jean Leonard, President of the French Association for Heart Failure Patients (ASPIC), said:
“Not all patients are older, many patients can be young and heart failure impacts their social and professional lives adding to the burden of the condition itself. It is thus urgent for the EU to take into consideration the impact of heart failure, which is likely to increase face to the growing ageing population”.
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About the Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN)
The Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN) is an independent, multidisciplinary group of politicians, patients, healthcare professionals and other stakeholders from across Europe working together with other stakeholders to lead significant policy changes to improve the lives of people with heart failure.
The Heart Failure Policy Network is funded through a grant from Novartis Pharma and St. Jude Medical.
For more information about HFPN’s research and policy engagement activities, and how to support the Written Declaration, please visit: www.hfpolicynetwork.eu/hfwd
About the European Parliament Written Declaration on Heart Failure (0110/2016)
Written Declaration number 0110/2016 was initiated by:
Annie Schreijer-Pierik (Netherlands, PPE);
Aldo Patriciello (Italy, PPE);
Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (Romania, PPE);
Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, PPE);
Andrey Kovatchev (Bulgaria, PPE);
Pascal Arimont (Belgium, PPE);
Marc Tarabella (Belgium, S&D);
Victor Negrescu (Romania, S&D);
Miriam Dalli (Malta, S&D);
Nicola Caputo (Italy, S&D);
Daciana Octavia Sârbu (Romania, S&D);
Karin Kadenbach (Austria, S&D);
Nessa Childers (Ireland, S&D);
Ian Duncan (UK, ECR);
Stelios Kouloglou (Greece, GUE/NGL);
Monica Macovei (Romania, ECR);
Patricija Šulin (Slovenia, PPE).
The Written Declaration can be signed by Members of European Parliament until 24 January 2017.