Canadian cardiovascular experts urge the federal government to help transform heart health in Budget 2018


OTTAWA, September 20, 2017 – The upcoming federal budget can improve the quality of health care and save lives across Canada – if an investment is made into a critical heart health initiative that will enable health professionals to transform our country’s health system.

That’s the message from the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) as it releases Equipping Health Professionals to Deliver Evidence-Based Medicine, its recommendation for the 2018 federal budget.

By leveraging important health data and pockets of innovation that exist in silos across the country, the CCS will transform heart disease management by identifying health system gaps and regional variation in care, and delivering evidence-based medicine to patients.

Currently, many cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons in Canada have no clear way of evaluating how their patient outcomes fare compared to those of their colleagues in other hospitals and clinics; even within their own province or territory. As a result, they have no way to systematically improve the delivery of care.

“As a cardiologist, I wish I could inform my patients about the expected outcomes of heart procedures in terms of length of stay, readmission rate and risk of adverse events according to their age, gender and other characteristics – as well as how these outcomes compare to other hospitals in Canada,” said Dr. Catherine Kells, CCS President. “Unfortunately, we don’t have consistent access to this critical information, which affects treatment and policy decisions across the country.”

The CCS recommendation follows the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s pre-budget consultation theme for 2018, which seeks to invest in more productive people for enhanced growth and prosperity for Canada.

Federal funding for this critical heart health initiative will reduce healthcare costs, support evidence-based medicine and improve the consistency and quality of cardiovascular care across the country. It will enable Canadians to live longer and healthier lives, experience increased productivity within their workplaces and communities, and contribute to the overall competitiveness of our country’s economy.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and within Canada, there are more than 2.4 million people living with heart disease whose health outcomes are at risk without a pan-Canadian approach to evidence-based medicine.

“With population aging continuing at a rapid rate, this government cannot afford to miss a critical opportunity to improve the health of Canadian heart patients in a significant and evidence-based way,” said Dr. Kells.

The CCS is scheduled to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday, September 27 in view of its study of the pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget. Read CCS’s full pre-budget submission here.


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About the Canadian Cardiovascular Society

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is a non-profit organization that represents more than 2,200 cardiovascular clinicians and scientists across Canada. Established in 1947, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society works to promote cardiovascular health and care excellence through knowledge translation, professional development and health policy.


Facts about heart disease in Canada

  • Each year, 33,600 Canadians die as a result of heart disease. It is a leading cause of death in Canada, along with cancer.
  • Twenty percent of Canadians aged 65+ live with heart disease. Nine in 10 Canadians aged 20+ have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
  • The economic burden of heart disease is estimated at $20.9 billion, and is expected to reach $28.3 billion by 2020.
  • Premature death due to heart disease contributes $9.3 billion in lost productivity every year.
  • Heart disease disproportionately affects Canada’s Indigenous and rural populations.


For more information:

Erin McGeachie
Manager, Health Policy & Advocacy
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
613-569-3407 x 419


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