Treatment for Heart disease in Malta - criticised on BBC - 21/2/2005


Comment - It appears that the source of this article may be mistaken. The Govt of Malta spends LM250 per citizen, including those who are perfectly healthy in calculating the average.
The Health division has in the past publicly stated that 10% of its bugdet goes to acute cardiac services, excluding outpatient services and medicines.


The article is being quoted in full
UK 'major heart disease spender'

Some 2.7m people are living with heart disease in the UK
The UK spends more on treating heart disease per head of population than any other country in Europe, figures show.
The European Heart Network found 3.4bn is spent annually at 60.57 a head.

Malta spends the lowest at 4.10 (5.93 euros) a head, while Finland - the country with the highest heart disease rate - spends 37.90 (54.83 euros).

The British Heart Foundation said the figures showed the UK was investing in good quality care for its 2.7m people living with heart disease.

Highest heart disease spending per head
UK - 60.57 (87.63 euros)
Germany - 57.93 (83.81 euros)
Sweden - 48.81 (70.62 euros)

While the number of people dying from heart disease has been falling in the UK since the 1970s, more people than ever are now living with its consequences.

Britain has one of the highest rates of heart disease along with many of the north European countries.

Lost productivity

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said on top of the healthcare costs involved with heart disease, including medication, hospital and GP appointments, the illness also prevented many patients from working, losing the UK 877m (1.3bn euros) a year in productivity.

It said that informal care for heart disease patients supplied by friends and family as their full-time job also cost 1.14bn (1.59bn euros) a year in lost economic activity.

BHF medical director Professor Peter Weissberg said the UK's high rate of spending in the area was something to be welcomed.

"The big spend reflects the scale of the problem - there is a real need for care and we should be proud that this country is committed to providing it," he said.

Lowest heart disease spending per head
Malta - 4.10 (5.93 euros)
Latvia - 5.34 (7.73 euros)
Hungary - 7.58 (10.97 euros)

"The heart has no capability for repair, so when a patient survives a heart attack, their heart works at a lessened capacity.

"As treatment has improved, more and more people are surviving and in desperate need of continuing specialist care."

Paul Lincoln, chief executive of the National Heart Forum, agreed the amount of spending showed the UK was providing good care.

"It partly reflects the fact that the incidence of heart disease in the UK is higher than in many countries," he said.

"But it also shows we are investing in keeping people alive. There has been real progress in that respect over recent years and that is good."

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