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Vascular 2023 Declaration


Right to Vascular Health for People in Canada

Vascular 2023

Montréal, Canada | October 2023

People of all ages, genders, socio-economic or ethnic backgrounds consistently value good health as critical to having a basic quality of life. Health contributes to the well-being and quality of life, allowing us to experience school, work, the joys of family and participate fully in the chosen activities within communities. Internationally, the importance of health was first articulated in the 1946 Constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) which stated that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” In Canada, the embodiment of this statement is in the Canada Health Act that states its primary objective to be "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers."

The following principles serve as the foundation for action:

Prevention and education: Prioritize preventive measures such as population-level public policy measures and health promotion strategies to reduce the incidence and burden of vascular diseases. This principle highlights the need for legislation, regulations, public awareness campaigns, education programs and community initiatives aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles, early detection and risk reduction to prevent the onset of vascular diseases.

Quality care and treatment: Guarantee the provision of high-quality,  evidence-based care and treatment for individuals affected by vascular diseases. This principle emphasizes the importance of ensuring that healthcare professionals possess the necessary expertise, resources, and technology to deliver effective diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term management of vascular conditions. This should also include support for people impacted by vascular diseases to navigate the health system. 

Research, innovation and collaboration: Encourage research and innovation in the field of vascular health, fostering collaborations between academia, healthcare providers, governments and other stakeholders. This principle recognizes the significance of advancing scientific knowledge, developing new interventions, and promoting implementation of evidence-based practices to continuously improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of vascular diseases.

Given the incredible importance of good vascular health and the current health challenges facing people in Canada, the Delegates of Vascular 2023 call on sectors across Canada to work together to ensure optimal vascular health for all people in Canada.
  1. To all People in Canada:
    1. Make your health a priority. Get informed. Participate.
    2. Work with your health care provider to understand and modify your vascular risk. Aim to adopt healthy behaviors.
    3. Advocate for yourself and for healthy communities.
  2. To health care practitioners:
    1. Get and stay informed. Maximize inter-professional collaboration to comprehensively manage vascular risk. Keep up-to-date on, and follow best care practices.
    2. Collaborate with other sectors to advocate for and address legislative, social and built environment factors that impact population health.
    3. Listen to, and learn from, people with lived experiences to enrich your knowledge.
    4. Advocate for yourself, patients and a better health system.
  3. To federal, provincial. territorial and municipal governments:
    1. Improve access to diagnostics, evidence-based treatments and devices, and procedures so people living with vascular diseases can achieve the best health outcomes as possible.
    2. Improve access to the right health care provider at the right time.
    3. Commit to sustained action on vascular health by implementing effective public policies, legislation, regulations and programs that foster the production, access and promotion of healthy food, physical activity and smoke-free/vape-free living. Be inclusive of the needs, interests and abilities of specific populations within their local contexts and settings. Monitor the impact of public policies and regulations on health, economic productivity and chronic care costs.
  4. To researchers and academia:
    1. Address evidence gaps related to vascular health issues.
    2. Foster the integration of knowledge across sectors, disciplines and conditions to impact vascular health through advocacy, data, programs and best practices.
  5. To not-for-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups:
    1. Maximize impact through joint action. Align and amplify messaging and resources for the public on vascular risk and chronic disease management.
    2. Build partnerships for action on vascular health, advocate for healthy public policies and translate knowledge on vascular health into programs that improve the health of Canadians.
  6. To the private sector:
    1. Implement evidence-based healthy workplace policies and programs for a healthier and more productive workforce.
    2. Eliminate the promotion of unhealthy foods and practices to reduce the negative impact on vascular health.
    3. Build intersectoral partnerships to advocate for healthy public policies that include prevention and early detection programs and access to recommended treatments.