Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to impose a heavy burden in terms of cost, disability and death in Australia.\ud Evidence suggests that increasing remoteness, where cardiac services are scarce, is linked to an increased risk of dying from CVD. Fatal CVD events are reported to be between 20% and 50% higher in rural areas compared to major cities.\ud The Cardiac ARIA project, with its extensive use of geographic Information Systems (GIS), ranks each of Australia’s 20,387 urban, rural and remote population centres by accessibility to essential services or resources for the management of a cardiac event.\ud \ud This unique, innovative and highly collaborative project delivers a powerful tool to highlight and combat the burden imposed by cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Australia.\ud Cardiac ARIA is innovative. It is a model that could be applied internationally and to other acute and chronic conditions such as mental health, midwifery, cancer,\ud respiratory, diabetes and burns services.\ud Cardiac ARIA was designed to:\ud \ud 1. Determine by expert panel, what were the minimal services and resources required for the management of a cardiac event in any urban, rural or remote population locations in Australia using a single patient pathway to access care.\ud \ud 2. Derive a classification using GIS accessibility modelling for each of Australia’s 20,387 urban, rural and remote population locations.\ud \ud 3. Compare the Cardiac ARIA categories and population locations with census derived population characteristics.\ud Key findings are as follows:\ud \ud • In the event of a cardiac emergency, the majority of Australians had very good access to cardiac services. Approximately 71% or 13.9 million people lived within one hour of a category one hospital.\ud \ud • 68% of older Australians lived within one hour of a category one hospital (Principal Referral Hospital with access to Cardiac Catheterisation).\ud \ud • Only 40% of indigenous people lived within one hour of the category one hospital.\ud \ud • 16% (74000) of indigenous people lived more than one hour from a hospital.\ud \ud • 3% (91,000) of people 65 years of age or older lived more than one hour from any hospital or clinic.\ud \ud • Approximately 96%, or 19 million, of people lived within one hour of the four key services to support cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention.\ud \ud • 75% of indigenous people lived within one hour of the four cardiac rehabilitation services to support cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention. Fourteen percent (64,000 persons) indigenous people had poor access to the four key services to support cardiac rehabilitation and\ud secondary prevention.\ud \ud • 12% (56,000) of indigenous people were more than one hour from a hospital and only had access one the four key services (usually a medical service) to support cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention
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