Country situation - challenges
Significant underuse of TAVI procedures when compared to other European countries and a very clear and determined cardiology leadership in Portugal that can address the conduct of the Initiative was one of the reasons for Portugal to be selected as a third pilot country to join the Initiative. The perspectives to improve valvular heart disease treatment, to promote the use of the technology in Portugal, and to increase the number of TAVI and mitral procedures thanks to the efforts of the Initiative seems promising and the perspectives to duplicate the success of the other participant countries realistic.
Before fully immersing into the Valve for Life Initiative, Portugal committed to providing a multi-dimensional GAP analysis outlining the current situation around TAVI procedures in Portugal and the reasons behind the current low use of TAVI.
Expectations and actions
Valve for Life Portugal's main goal was set to raise the number of TAVI from 40 in January 2017, achieving 120 percutaneous valvular procedures per million habitants in 5 years (by the end of 2021).
For that, strategic objectives and actions were grouped as follow:
1. Raise awareness at patient and health professionals level about valvular disease
Actions for this strategic objective include the creation and maintenance of a national education campaign (“Corações de Amanhã”), media relations (presence in national TV programs, written press, and social media), a market study on disease awareness, and the creation of a valvular patient national database.
2. Increase diagnosis on valvular disease, facilitate access to Heart Team programmes, and promote professional training in structural heart interventions.
Actions for this strategic objective include the presence at educational events with an influential network of primary care practitioners, internal medicine specialists, and clinical cardiologists, the organization of an annual valvular interventions national meeting, the education and support of new heart teams and mitral centres, and the elaboration of a national position paper on the proper diagnosis and treatment of mitral regurgitation
3. Ensure intra-structural funding and access to treatment technology
Actions for this strategic objective include the VaP Registry automatic update, the publication of national TAVI and Mitral registry results, health minister sensitisation, and the realization of an economic impact study on SHD/TAVI in Portugal.
2019 final results show a 73,9% increase in total valvular procedures per million inhabitants, and an 80% increase in TAVI procedures per million inhabitants, when compared with January 2017 numbers.
Prof. Lino Patrício
Dr. Rui Campante Teles
Last update: December 2020