September 29, 2020

The Heart Foundation is urging whichever party wins the upcoming State Election to make fighting heart disease in regional and remote Queensland a priority.

A Heart Foundation spokesperson said the Wide Bay region – including the South Burnett, Cherbourg, Gympie and North Burnett council areas – was Australia’s fourth biggest hotspot for heart-related hospitalisations, and the second worst in Queensland.

In fact, Queensland has eight of the nation’s 20 worst hotspots for heart disease deaths, and 11 of the 20 worst for heart-related hospitalisations.

The Heart Foundation has listed four key priorities it says will help turn these figures around:

  • Improving cardiac services for regional Queenslanders by continuing the delivery of outreach cardiac services across all regional areas;
  • Ensuring everyone can access cardiac rehabilitation programs by providing face-to-face group programs or remote delivered programs;
  • Continuing work towards ending the burden of rheumatic heart disease in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and
  • Boosting funding for the Queensland Cardiac Outcomes Register of heart conditions to improve the safety and quality of cardiac care.

Outreach cardiac services involve a team of heart health professionals visiting country areas to provide patient consultations, follow-ups, and specialised tests.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program of exercise, health education, and social support that helps people recover after a heart event or procedure, stay healthy, and keep out of hospital.

The Heart Foundation said that on average, 15 people die and 246 are taken to hospital due to heart disease every day in Queensland.

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Heart Disease Hotspots

Queensland regions with highest age-standardised rates of heart-related hospitalisations, with national ranking:

  • Queensland Outback (2)
  • Wide Bay (4)
  • Ipswich (5)
  • Moreton Bay-North (7)
  • Mackay-Isaac-Whitsundays (9)
  • Logan-Beaudesert (11)
  • Central Queensland (12)
  • Brisbane-North (13)
  • Darling Downs-Maranoa (14)
  • Cairns (15)
  • Townsville (16)

Regions with highest age-standardised rates of heart disease deaths, with national ranking:

  • Queensland Outback (2)
  • Logan-Beaudesert (3)
  • Brisbane-South (6)
  • Townsville (10)
  • Darling Downs-Maranoa (12)
  • Ipswich (13)
  • Moreton Bay-North (17)
  • Wide Bay (20)

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