Heart Valve Disease Patients and Caregivers Invited to Share Experiences with Health Quality Ontario

March 13, 2018

Health Quality Ontario, the provincial advisor on the quality of health care in Ontario, is looking to speak with patients and caregivers who’ve had experience with narrowing of the aortic heart valve, or aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disease that affects more than 1 in 8 seniors aged 75 and over. Health Quality Ontario is currently reviewing the usefulness of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVI - a treatment option for patients with aortic stenosis - to inform their recommendations to Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care related to public funding for the procedure.

TAVI is a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery for patients with aortic stenosis. TAVI uses local anesthetic and innovative design and engineering to replace the diseased aortic valve via a catheter, usually through a small incision in the groin. Patients who receive TAVI are generally walking within hours, home within a few days and feeling better than they did before within weeks, as compared to the lengthier surgeries, post-op hospital stays, and at-home recovery times of traditional open-heart procedures. Studies have also shown aortic stenosis patients who receive TAVI have fewer post-operative complications and hospital readmissions than patients who underwent traditional open-heart surgery. Heart Valve Voice Canada is advocating for improved access to TAVI for the more than 5,000 Ontarians currently eligible for the procedure.

Health Quality Ontario is looking to speak with people, and caregivers of people, living with aortic stenosis about your experiences and treatment options. Your insights will help them develop their recommendations about TAVI funding for the provincial health ministry. Interviews will take about 20 to 30 minutes, either on the phone or in-person, and will be scheduled between now and April 30, 2018. If you are interested in participating or have any questions, contact Arshia Ali at Arshia.Ali@hqontario.ca or via phone at 416-323-6868 ext. 662 or 1-866-623-6868 ext. 662.

Health Quality Ontario is a provincial body that reviews and analyzes evidence and input from a range of sources about a wide range of health interventions, such as new and existing medical devices, surgical procedures and health care services. They use this analysis to inform and make recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care about whether those services and devices should be publicly funded opportunity, or not. This call for participation from Health Quality Ontario is one opportunity for you and your loved ones to have your voices heard by government around what it is like to live with aortic stenosis and help shape public funding for treatments.

You can also add your voice to our advocacy campaign by sending a letter to the provincial health minister and your local MPP today, calling on them to increase public funding for TAVI procedures in Ontario. Let’s raise our collective Heart Valve Voice and make this life-saving treatment option the standard of care in Ontario.

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