New research conducted by the Heartbeat Trust in collaboration with the Irish Heart Foundation, the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and supported by Novartis has found that the total cost of heart failure from a societal perspective is €660 million and is likely to increase in the future. This is an original piece of research and is the first to look at the cost of heart failure to Irish society.
Professor Kenneth McDonald, Medical Director of The Heartbeat Trust, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for the HSE Heart Failure Clinical Care Programme, said, “Never before has the national cost of heart failure in primary or community care been assessed. This important piece of research shows the extent of the burden of heart failure throughout primary and secondary health care settings in Ireland.
“The National Heart Failure Clinical Programme has done a significant amount of important work for patients living with heart failure, but there remains a lot more to be done. Focusing on heart failure prevention the Heartbeat Trust has developed an effective screening and early intervention strategy to prevent heart failure and allied cardiovascular presentations in a cost effective manner. Notwithstanding these successes much more is required to manage this societal challenge.
This report should be utilised to help identify problem areas in heart failure prevention and treatment within the community as well as areas where spending can be increased to better serve the patient and healthcare professionals. The healthcare system needs to develop and implement strategies to cope with the associated cost of increased incidence, and do what it can now to prevent and manage heart failure incidence in the future.”
Main report findings;
- Heart failure affects 90,000 Irish people and a further 160,000 Irish people have impending heart failure
- The direct cost of heart failure to the HSE is €158 million annually, which includes hospitalisations, GP visits, nursing home care etc
- The total cost of heart failure in Ireland is €660 million, which is made of direct costs (€158 million), cost of informal care and the costs of premature deaths (€502 million)
- The majority of direct costs (47%) are hospital related
- Heart failure patients occupy more than 231,000 hospital bed days each year
- Seven per cent of all HSE inpatient bed days are due to heart failure
- Primary care related costs, such as GP visits, make up 25% of the total direct cost of heart failure
- Current spending on cardiovascular health accounts for just 6% of the healthcare budget, lower than EU average of 10%
For a full copy of the report, please click here.