Joint Media Release
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
The Hon. Steve Ciobo
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
14 February 2018
The Turnbull Coalition Government will develop a national plan to uncover new treatments and care options for more than 64,000 Australians affected by congenital/childhood heart disease.
National Childhood Heart Disease Action Plan will be jointly developed with HeartKids, who will receive $150,000 to undertake this work.
Congenital conditions, including congenital heart disease, are the leading cause of death for Australian infants and the second leading cause of death for children.
Unlike other cardiovascular problems, which commonly present in adults over 45 years, congenital heart disease has its greatest impact on the young.
Sadly eight babies are born with congenital/childhood heart disease every day, with four passing away each week. There is currently no known cure.
We must do more to support those people battling this terrible disease – ultimately, this new plan will be a roadmap to save lives and improve the care of thousands of patients.
We are delighted to announce this project today on Sweetheart Day – the international day for congenital heart disease and a key fundraising day for HeartKids.
The Plan will be a co-ordinated policy for this disease and it recognises the fantastic work already undertaken by HeartKids.
It will also drive collaboration in research priorities, education, services and community awareness to better support people living with this condition.
While Australia has made excellent gains to reduce mortality rates for heart disease in recent decades, cardiovascular disease – along with cancer – remains our biggest killer, being responsible for around one in every three deaths in Australia each year.
Since 2013, the Coalition has provided $565 million for research into forms of cardiovascular disease, as well as over $6.1 billion to subsidise medicine to treat it on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
And we have provided over $25 million for child congenital heart disease research, through the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The Turnbull Government will continue to make significant investments in health and medical research to improve the lives of Australian patients.