Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is very pleased the Government will establish the HeartKids Project with $26 million to tackle childhood heart disease.
“Heart disease affects more than 65,000 people throughout Australia,” he said.
“$20m of this funding will support medical research into the disease which will support our best and brightest researchers to translate their vital work into real health benefits – better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart disease.
“The funding is for an open grant round aimed at better understanding the disease’s genetic causes and prevention and treatment options.
“Unlike other cardiovascular problems, which commonly present in adults over 45 years, congenital heart disease has its greatest impact on the young.”
HeartKids will benefit from Government funding of $6m over six years.
“I am very familiar with the wonderful work done by HeartKids and like many Australians, I personally know several young people who were born with congenital heart defects and have received incredible support through HeartKids,” he said. “Congenital heart disease is the leading cause of deaths for Australian infants and the second leading cause of death for children.”
“Sadly, eight babies are born with congenital heart disease every day, with four passing away each week. There is currently no known cure.”
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the $6 million will help implement the recommendations of the National Strategic Action Plan for Childhood Heart Disease by supporting HeartKids with $1 million per year over six years.
“We announced the National Strategic Action Plan for Childhood Heart Disease a year ago along with $150,000 for the organisation HeartKids to jointly develop the plan,” Minister Hunt said.
“The Action Plan will guide improvements for the care of thousands of patients, and save lives.”
HeartKids’ role in progressing the Action Plan’s recommendations will include addressing the standards of care for people impacted by childhood heart disease and increasing the availability of quality, relevant information about childhood heart disease.
Minister Hunt said a particular focus will be to help young people impacted by childhood heart disease as they move into adulthood.
“We are committed to doing more to support people battling this dreadful disease – and the HeartKids Project will help us chart the most effective way forward.”
“Since 2013, the Coalition has provided $662 million for research into forms of cardiovascular disease including $45.7 million for congenital heart disease research.”
“We have also provided $7.7 billion to subsidise medicine to treat cardiovascular disease on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS),” Minister Hunt said.
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 86331744
February 14 2019