Friday, 11 September 2009

Hearts in Europe

Our Chief Executive Peter Hollins (pictured right) was in Brussels yesterday as President of the European Heart Network, to chair a conference organised by EHN and the European Society of Cardiologists.

Here's Peter's report on how the day went...

"The conference was discussing the outcome of Work Package 5 of the Euroheart project, run by ESC and EHN and part financed by the EU. Odd coming back as a visitor to the city in which I lived for six years.

"The project compares rates of heart-related deaths around Europe and looks at the policies which are in place to tackle heart disease.

"We had a reasonably good turn-out for the meeting, but were very pleased that both the EU Commissioner for Health and the Director General of the Directorate came.

"The UK is so-so in overall heart health terms, and I pointed out in my speech that everybody around Europe really knows what needs to be done to improve heart health, but the political will is lacking and there are some huge entrenched interests - particularly food, tobacco (still!) and to some extent big pharma who have a strong interest in the status quo.

"I pointed out that we need a much greater spend on prevention, consistent tobacco taxation across Europe and proper food labelling - and I have to be honest, I'm a bit evangelical about this!

"They are all going to come in the end, but the Commission made it quite clear that we have to be realistic about what the EU and national governments will do at a time of economic stringency."

1 comment:

Archangelbladewyn said...

It is good that you have 'evangelised' the case of heart disease and the preventation measures that can and indeed should be put in place now.
That way, at least they are in the minds of those who need to hear, even if it may take time.