Ireland fifth best in Europe for managing heart disease
Ireland is ranked fifth in Europe for helping patients with heart disease to manage their symptoms and reduce the risk of further major complications.
The 31-country study of secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, released today, measured how well the services in each nation supported patients who may have suffered a heart attack or stroke to prevent a re-occurrence.
Sweden tops the ranking, scoring 956 points out of a maximum 1,000, followed by France, the report by the Health Consumer Powerhouse shows.
Ireland scores 800 points for its performance under different headings.
It scored 167 out of 200 in the area covering counselling on exercise, dietary advice, weight management, stop-smoking programmes and support to reduce alcohol consumption.
Ireland was given the same score out of 200 for access to cardiac rehabilitation but it does less well in the area of access to treatment and ongoing prevention. It scores top marks for data quality.
Ireland was only ranked 12th earlier this year in the overall European index on heart care.
It said Ireland shares a problematic pattern with many European countries - unhealthy lifestyle in the general population with a high alcohol and sugar consumption.
There is a high percentage of the population who have high blood pressure, the report pointed out.
It warned that the number of people who are obese in Ireland is quite alarming, not only among the adult population but also among children.
The system works efficiently and is coordinated, offering good services, but there are problems due to Ireland's "notorious waiting list problems".
Prof Arne Björnberg, chair of Healthpowerhouse, which produces the index, said there needs to be more consistent deployment of inexpensive generic drug therapies such as statins to save lives.