Heart sector congratulates Minister Butler for extending the Heart Health Check

A coalition of key Australian heart organisations has today congratulated the Australian Government and Health
Minister Mark Butler for taking strong action to protect Australian hearts by extending the Medicare Heart Health
Check for two years.

The coalition includes the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the Australian Cardiovascular Health and
Rehabilitation Association, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australian Cardiovascular Alliance, Australian and
New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Heart
Support Australia and Hearts 4 Heart.

Minister Butler today announced that Medicare Benefits Schedule items 699 and 177 – the Heart Health Check –
will be funded for another two years, with at least 250,000 Australians expected to take up a Check in that time

The Heart Health Check was first introduced in 2019 and since then has been taken up by more than 450,000
Australians, saving thousands of lives.
David Lloyd, CEO of the National Heart Foundation of Australia, said:

“I want to thank the Minister for this crucial extension of the Medicare Heart Health Checks for another two years,
ensuring that millions of at-risk Australians continue to have a chance to avoid a debilitating heart attack or

“It shows that this is a Government that listens to Australians and understands the important role that prevention
can play in saving lives from heart disease, which continues to be our nation’s leading cause of death and a
major burden on our healthcare system.”

Tanya Hall CEO and founder of leading patient organisation Hearts4heart said:

“Hearts4heart welcomes the continuation of the MBS Heart Health Check, which is a vital step towards improving
the heart health of Australians. We are grateful to the Australian Government for recognising the importance of
this life-saving health check for patients, carers, and all Australians who continue to benefit from it. This
commitment to heart health will undoubtedly help save lives and reduce the burden of heart disease in our

Professor Jason Kovacic, Executive Director of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, said:

“Fatal heart attacks have been on the rise since COVID with 14,000 Australians losing their lives from ischemic
heart disease in the first 10 months of 2022 alone. This was not the time to cut Heart Health Checks and we
applaud the Minister for Health for extending these vital tests for two more years.

“We look forward to working with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to ensure that every eligible Australian gets this life-saving test and that together we turn the tide on Australia’s biggest killer.”

Professor Tom Marwick, Director of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, said:

“We are delighted to see the strong focus on heart disease prevention by Minister Butler and the Federal Government.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of Australians but it doesn’t have to be. Heart disease is a largely
preventable disease that is associated with many risk factors that are modifiable, and that’s why it is so important
to help people understand their risk of having a heart attack or stroke by having a heart health check.”