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Heart health submissions to Government

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Advocacy activities


Heart health submissions to Government

Every day we are lobbying government and industry to improve heart health.

We aim to address disparities in heart health so all Australians can live longer, healthier lives. Every day we are making the case to governments and industry for action to improve heart health.

Below is some of our current advocacy work.

The budget submission proposal

With over four million Australians living with a cardiac condition, the future health of the nation is at risk without urgent intervention. Every year

  • Cardiovascular disease is the underlying cause of 1 in 4 deaths in Australia
  • 42,700 people die from cardiovascular disease
  • Nearly 570,000 are hospitalised due to cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular diseases costs governments across Australia $12.7 billion

The Heart Foundation calls on the Australian Government to prioritise the future heart health of the nation by making the following investments:

  1. Developing Australia’s first targeted cardiovascular disease screening program –an investment of $3.3 million over two years
  2. Implement a new world-leading approach to preventing, diagnosing and managing cardiovascular disease risk –$10 million over three years
  3. Develop a new uniform clinical guideline for cholesterol –$2 million over three years
  4. Increase investment in health programs that will help – end Rheumatic Heart Disease in Australia

Read our Federal Budget Submission 2024-25 here.

And our detailed proposal for Australia’s first targeted cardiovascular disease screening program.

The Heart Foundation recently called for better regulation and tighter controls on the availability of e-cigarette and vaping products in its submission to a Therapeutic Goods Administration consultation.

Read the submission to the TGA  

The medical research literature shows that there are clear links between poverty and health outcomes and across a range of different areas including food security, energy affordability, indigenous status, and the health impacts of climate change. People living in poverty are more likely to have adverse cardiovascular health outcomes, and this relationship is bidirectional, as those living with cardiovascular health conditions are more likely to be living in poverty.

The Heart Foundation contends that addressing the causes of poverty has the potential to improve the cardiovascular health of millions of Australians, and that by helping people to improve their cardiovascular health they are less likely to find themselves trapped in poverty.

The Heart Foundation has made the following recommendations to the Committee:

  • The Australian Government should continue to provide timely and affordable access to Heart Health Checks by extending MBS items 699 and 177.
  • Honest and transparent labelling of food, a mandatory Health Star Rating system, and stronger reformulation targets achieved through the Healthy Food Partnership.
  • The Australian Dietary Guidelines are routinely updated, and national nutrition surveys are undertaken at regular intervals.
  • A National Nutrition Strategy is developed and implemented, focusing on equitable access to fresh, healthy and sustainable foods.
  • Policies developed to ensure that everybody, irrespective of their economic circumstances and where they live, has access to healthy food.
  • Incorporate active living in our built environment (such as the initiatives outlined in the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Active by Design program).
  • Continued government investment in low-cost and no-cost physical exercise activities (such as the Heart Foundation’s Walking Program), particularly in areas of high need and poverty.
  • Continued support and expansion of the Heart Foundation’s Active Australia Challenge to support more community-led programs in areas of poverty support increased physical activity.
  • Continue Australia’s anti-tobacco initiatives.
  • Provide additional assistance to those from lower socioeconomic groups to quit smoking.
  • Continue policies to eliminate RHD in Australia, with a particularly focus on ending poverty amongst First Nations Communities
  • Increased funding and commitment to implement the Rheumatic Heart Disease Endgame Strategy including those directly related to the socioeconomic outcomes and targets established under the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
  • Support the ongoing delivery and expansion of community led peer support programs such as the Heart Foundation’s Champions4Change program that prioritise Aboriginal voices and leadership, decision making at all levels of the health system, the importance of developing community capacity, acknowledge the value of lived expertise and are locally responsive.
  • Support the prevention, control and management of Rheumatic Heart Disease by making a notifiable disease in every State and Territory.

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Poverty Inquiry

The economic burden attributable to high cholesterol is $3.9 billion.

Read the full report:

The total economic cost of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), which includes heart attack and unstable angina, is $6.8 billion in 2017-18.

Read the full report:

Tobacco smoke is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and is responsible for 12% of the burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia.

Learn more about the work being done to end tobacco use in Australia.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in this country. In 2022, our unwavering vision of an Australia free of heart disease is stronger than ever, and we look forward to working with the incoming federal government to achieve this. As we approach federal polling day, we outline our three key election priorities that we believe will make a significant difference to the heart health of all Australians and will keep more families together.

  • A women and cardiovascular disease awareness campaign
  • Key clinical activities to improve heart health outcomes for women
  • Making the Medicare Benefits Schedule Heart Health Check item numbers permanent

We also send a strong message of support to end rheumatic heart disease in Australia, and highlight the need for continued support to enhance our physical activity and walking agenda.

Heart Foundation 2022 Federal Election priorities

Heart Foundation provided a submission to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) proposal P1059 regarding energy labelling on alcoholic beverages.

Summary of the recommendations within our submission:

  1. FSANZ prohibits manufacturers to determine a ‘normal’ serving size of alcoholic beverages.
  2. FSANZ prescribe reference amounts to act as the basis for determining serving sizes. Self-served alcoholic beverages are to align with government messaging on serving sizes of standard drinks. For individual bottles or cans, which are intended to be consumed as a single serve, serving size is based on the entire contents.
  3. Mandatory energy labelling on alcoholic beverages be applied to online retail settings, including meal delivery services which are expanding to the provision of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Mandatory energy labelling be applied to both individual and outer layer packaging.
  5. Energy-related nutrient content claims on alcoholic beverages be included in P1049 which presently is limited to carbohydrate and sugar claims.
  6. Cost-benefit analysis is extended from overweight and obesity measures to include alcohol-related harms.

Read the submission to FSANZ in full

Diabetes and its complications including kidney disease and obesity, are established risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Read our submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport inquiry into diabetes  

Last updated02 April 2024