Heart Week cancelled as primary care sector fights COVID-19 crisisNews /
The national heart health awareness week was slated for early May, with a focus on engaging with the primary care sector to raise the number of patients getting their CVD risk assessed.
Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, said the challenges in the current health environment meant Heart Week 2020 activities would not go ahead.
“We haven’t reached this decision easily. Our number one priority is to ensure all people who engage with Heart Foundation activities are safe and that we are supporting our general practice and hospital sectors as much as possible during these challenging times,” Professor Kelly said.
“We would like to acknowledge the incredible efforts of our doctors, nurses and allied health staff and we understand their role in fighting this pandemic is vital to keeping Australians safe.
“Heart Week has always been a great way for general practice and hospital staff to get involved in promoting heart health in their communities.
“Understanding the toll that COVID-19 is taking on our health system, we have decided to cancel this year’s Heart Week activities. We thank you for your previous support of this event and hope you understand our difficult decision and look forward to continuing Heart Week in future years.
“We look forward to supporting the primary care sector over this winter season, recognising that people living with heart disease are among the most vulnerable.
“The Heart Foundation will be working with primary care health professionals to ensure their at-risk patients receive the protection they need.”
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to climb, the Heart Foundation reminds all Australians, particularly vulnerable members of the community, to stay safe.
International experience suggests older people and people with chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, are at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than other people.
“We urge people living with heart disease to take precautions to avoid infection with COVID-19, and to continue taking their medications as prescribed by their doctor,” Professor Kelly said.
For more information about protective measures and what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, follow the advice from the Department of Health or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Brigid Simeoni, Media Advisor
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