Written Answers. - Cardiovascular Health Strategy.

Ivan Yates

Question:

64 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, according to statistics released by the British Heart Foundation relating to European cardiovascular disease, Ireland is at the bottom of the league status in the prevention of death from coronary heart disease, has the second lowest rate of coronary artery by-pass procedures, with just 272 being carried out per million of the population and 37% of all deaths under 75 are attributed to this disease; and the urgent action, if any, being taken by his Department to reduce premature death from cardiovascular disease. [6617/00]

Alan Shatter

Question:

202 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, according to statistics released by the British Heart Foundation relating to European cardiovascular disease, Ireland is at the bottom of the league status in the prevention of death from coronary heart disease, has the second lowest rate of coronary artery by-pass procedures, with just 272 being carried out per million of the population and 37% of all deaths under 75 are attributed to this disease; and the urgent action, if any, being taken by his Department to reduce premature death from cardiovascular disease. [10196/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 202 together.

In July of last year the Taoiseach, Deputy Bertie Ahern, launched the cardiovascular health strategy group report – Building Healthier Hearts. This report showed that our premature death rate from coronary heart disease in Ireland is twice the EU average. The report is very comprehensive and its recommendations are far reaching. In the implementation of these recommendations my Department has set a medium term objective to bring our levels of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease in line with the EU average at a minimum and a long-term objective of reducing our rates to those of the best performers in the EU. This strategy document, which contains 211 recommendations, is designed to achieve these goals in a systematic and sustained manner.

Additional funding of £12 million has been made available in 2000 to commence the implementation process, and this funding will be the foundation for the implementation of some of the more immediate recommendations across the health services. It is expected that progress will be achieved this year in health promotion, primary care, pre-hospital care, hospital care, and in the area of audit and evaluation.