Country situation - Challenges
Back in 2015
- A government-approved access to the transcatheter heart valve therapies was already in place in Poland.
- However, only limited funding was available for the respective therapies while the penetration level was low.
- Poland remained among the countries with the lowest level of implanted valves in Europe. In 2015 only 452 TAVI were conducted in 100 centres in Poland.
These challenges were taken into consideration while conducting the Initiative in Poland.
Despite the fact that a significant increase of TAVI number was achieved, availability is still way below the needs (33/mln which is short of the goal of 50/mln).
The increase of TAVI procedures however slowed in 2019 and still not all patients with aortic stenosis and Class I indications for intervention have access to a timely procedure (not implanted while on the waiting list).
In terms of mitral and tricuspid disease, despite the evidence of improved outcomes, the number of transcatheter MV repairs is very low.
In addition, only a single-digit number of tricuspid interventions were performed despite clinical needs.
Expectations and Results
Poland has managed to conduct a very strong TAVI public campaign. First of all, it has performed an assessment of public awareness of TAVI and a new treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis not suitable for cardiac surgery. VFL Poland has also created a dedicated website and a special television campaign with video spots. It has run dedicated pages on Facebook.
Valve for Life Poland Country Champions, Profs. Dariusz Dudek and Adam Witkowski participated in different interviews on TAVI and programmes in newspapers, radio and TV. The topic of TAVI and a new treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis not suitable for cardiac surgery was addressed also during the local symposia for cardiologists, interventionalists, and family doctors as well as during the THT Poland Congress.
In general, the campaign stats grouping television, radio, press, interviews, social media reached out to 6+ million people.
VFL Poland has also focused its attention on reaching the governmental officials aiming to increase their awareness in the situation around TAVI in Poland and ensuring their support. In October 2015 a meeting with the Minister of Health of Poland was organised which resulted in a number of positive changes. In particular, funding was successfully secured for the refund of 100 additional TAVI for 2016.
The aim is to raise the number of relevant procedures over the next five years to about 2,000 procedures annually.
What was achieved?
- The public media campaign launched in Poland in 2015 as part of the Valve for Life Initiative from EAPCI led to a substantial increase in TAVI procedures (from 452 in 2014 to more than 1,260 treatments in 2018) Main goals of the first edition of the campaign aimed to increase awareness of the decision makers (national health found and ministry of health) as well as healthcare providers. As a result, TAVI programs were built in 22 centres, however, the number of procedures remained low due to insufficient funding.
- The recognition of aortic stenosis as a health problem increased. In 2018-2019 campaign aimed to educate on mitral and tricuspid diseases which are underdiagnosed and undertreated.
- A joint paper between interventional cardiologists and surgeons was published in September 2017 showing the improved collaboration between members of the heart team.
Country Champions: Prof. Wojciech Wojakowski
Country Coordinators: Profs. Dariusz Dudek and Adam Witkowski
Last update: December 2020