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Valve for Life - Poland

Poland joined the Initiative Valve for Life in August 2015 as pilot country. It was selected  on the basis of the infrastructure in place and the disparity of challenges faced in the access to transcatheter heart valve therapies for patients.

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 centers in Poland.

These challenges were aken into consideration while conducting the Initiative in Poland.


  • Despite the fact that 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 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 single-digit number of tricuspid interventions were done.

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 the Facebook.

Valve for Life Poland Country Champions, Prof Dariusz Dudek and Prof Adam Witkowski participated in different interviews on TAVI and programs 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.


Access to the campaign

VFL Poland has also focused its attention on reaching the governmental officials aiming to increase their awareness in situation around TAVI in Poland and ensuring their support. In October 2015 a meeting with a Minister of Health of Poland was organized 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  on  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 centers, 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


Poland TAVI penetration rate 2019.PNG


Poland TAVI procedures 2019.PNG


Country Champions: Profs Dariusz Dudek and Adam Witkowski
Last update: March 2019