On 22 June, the European Commission, unveiled the guiding document of the “Healthier together, EU Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) Initiative” during a webinar organised by DG SANTE. The Initiative’s purpose is to identify effective actions and the available legal and financial supporting tools across five main areas: cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health and neurological disorders.
The EU SHD Coalition welcomes the initiative as it shows the urgency and the need to tackle the burden of non-communicable diseases. In particular, the recognition that the early detection of CVDs should be prioritised is an important development enabling Member States to further assess ways to achieve such goals, for example through an annual health check at primary care level and comprehensive multidisciplinary early detection training programmes.
The European Commission has made explicit mention of Structural Heart Disease and the need to improve the early detection, treatment and management of this specific priority area.
The EU Structural Heart Disease Coalition looks forward to the forthcoming EU Joint Action on CVD and Diabetes, which could include various suggested work streams for the Member States’ work on improving screening for high risk of diabetes and CVDs.
The SHD Coalition contributed to the initiative via the public consultation process by sharing best practices on screening of CVDs, and giving suggestions on how to tackle the burden of SHD specifically through dedicated detection programmes.
The contribution of the SHD Coalition can be found here.