Victoria Minister for Health David Davis
Minister Opens Heart Foundation Conference
Victor P Taffa
Health Minister David Davis yesterday used the opening of the Heart Foundation’s third National Conference in Melbourne to highlight the rising incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Mr. Davis said preventing and managing chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, had emerged as the biggest challenge to our health system, and one of the biggest for the community.
“In Victoria, as in the rest of Australia, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of premature death and disability and is responsible for significant and increasing hospital demand.” Mr. Davis said.
“Yesterday’s conference comes as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare releases its new report Cardiovascular Disease: Australian facts 2011.”
“The report highlights that cardiovascular disease causes the most deaths in Australia and is the nation’s most costly disease.” Mr. Davis said.
“Comparable statistics show Victoria’s avoidable death rate due to cardiovascular disease at ages 0 to 74 is 39.8 per 100,000, which is less than Australia’s rate of 45 per 100,000 but clearly we can to do better.”
Mr. Davis said Victoria had an ageing population, increasing concerns about overweight and obesity, and entrenched ill health in disadvantaged sections of the community.
“We’re seeing the prevalence of many risk factors for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease increase rapidly.” Mr. Davis said.
“Clearly we need to reduce the risk of chronic disease in our community and keep more people well, so prevention must be a priority.”
“We also need to establish how we can better manage the care of those who already have heart disease and other chronic diseases, so we can improve their life expectancy and quality of life.”
“We must also ensure the demands on our health care system, our hospitals and health workforce, are manageable into the future.” Mr. Davis said.