Apr 23, 2024 | Featured Articles

Ireland’s heart and stroke charity Croí is calling for the urgent implementation of a national strategy to tackle cardiovascular health, which it says needs to be in place by 2025 with review and evaluation taking place every five years.

Croí’s call takes centre stage in the charity’s new manifesto, which was launched in mid-April, following cross community consultation with patient advocates, leading civil society organisations, professional bodies, in addition to voluntary and community groups.

With over 9,000 people in Ireland losing their lives each year due to cardiovascular disease, it remains the biggest annual cause of death and disability globally. Furthermore, the disease is responsible for 40% of all hospital admissions, and 75% of all bed days in hospitals. Despite this, Ireland’s last national cardiovascular health strategy expired in 2019, with no evaluation or renewal.

The manifesto has outlined five key policy actions:

  1. A National Plan to promote Cardiovascular Health and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease with a major focus on prevention. This national strategy needs to be in place by 2025 with review and evaluation taking place every five years.
  2. Clear, measurable goals, supported by investment in Cardiovascular Health with a clear accountability framework.
  3. A ring-fenced, multi-annual budget for preventive cardiovascular healthcare.
  4. Clear ownership and accountability – to this end Croí is seeking the appointment of a designated policy lead in the Department of Health with clear accountability to the Minister for Health.
  5. An independent statutory multi-stakeholder CVD Prevention Implementation taskforce.

If implemented, these actions will significantly reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, in the population and reduce the burden it currently places on the national healthcare system. Croí is calling on politicians to immediately develop a new national strategy on cardiovascular health akin to that in place for cancer; the allocation of a multi-annual budget from the Department of Health; the appointment of a department dedicated policy lead, and the establishment of a Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Implementation Taskforce.

Croí’s Special Projects Advisor Neil Johnson and Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive, pictured at the launch of the manifesto.

Speaking at the launch event, Croí Chief Executive, Mark O’Donnell said that heart disease and stroke impacts about one in every two families in Ireland, whether through premature death, disability or living with long term chronic ill health. “So, this is an issue that affects all of us. The adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is certainly true when it comes to cardiovascular disease given that the majority of the burden is preventable,” he noted.

“We need to see a shift from the short-term management of acute events, such as heart attack and stroke, to a long-term strategy which is focused on early detection and risk management. This will reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease, and the associated burden on our healthcare system,” he added.

Neil Johnson, Executive Director at the Global Heart Hub, and Croí Special Projects Advisor highlighted the cross-community approach to the development of the manifesto and spoke of the need to ensuring a community care led approach. “Since the previous strategy expired in 2019, we have been operating in a vacuum, with no long-term planning for the disease. As a country with an aging population, it is critical that we take a more proactive and holistic approach to cardiovascular health, so that we can reduce associated illnesses and ensure that everyone in Ireland, regardless of their gender, geography or socioeconomic status, has equal access to the necessary healthcare. That’s why our national strategy must take a community care-led approach.”

Click here to download the full manifesto.


@CfoaIreland @meathcoco @GavinDuffy @MCCFireService #firefighter #CFOA2024 #firesafety

#IPERN wish to congratulate all of our amazing finalists in the Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick Award who awed all of us today with their inspirational achievements. Delighted to announce our 2024 Awardee is Pte. Nicole Carroll of the Irish Defence Forces. Comhghairdeas Nicole! #DaraAward

On the eve of the Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick Award 2024 we are delighted to introduce you once more to our wonderful #DaraAward Finalists! 🚑 🚒 🚔 🚤 🚁
All roads lead to @MedicineAtUL tomorrow for our Award Ceremony hosted by @CumminsNM @grainnemoshea #IPERN #EDI #FirstResponders

Load More