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Government & Medical Association Health Warning

Government representatives and health professionals have both issued their concerns in recent days about the health of patients who are not keeping regular GP appointments and delaying regular health check-ups during the COVID-19 period.

Research shows a drop in GP visits where individuals worry they may not be safe to visit their clinic or they see their everyday health needs as less of a priority during a pandemic.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is urging people to keep a close watch on their ongoing health care and maintenance and to not allow the ongoing Covid-19 crisis to prevent this crucial healthcare activity.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said that fear and concern over COVID 19 should not make people ignore their everyday health.

“People need to continue seeing their doctor, in person or via telehealth, for existing conditions and for regular health maintenance,” Dr Bartone said.

“The AMA is very concerned that some Australians are putting off seeing their doctor or getting a test, investigation, or immunisation due to fears of contracting COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 fear is understandable, but for some people it could mean that a medical condition like cancer or heart disease will go undetected.

“The consequences of not seeing your doctor for usual care could be life-threatening for many patients.

“The failure to be able to monitor patients with existing conditions could lead to their conditions getting much worse.

It’s time to prioritise your health. Here are a few important reminders that you should consider for you and your family:

  1. It is safe to visit your clinic for a face-to-face consultation – At Eastbrooke, we have implemented additional infection control and social distancing measures to keep you, other patients, our staff, and doctors safe.
  2. Telehealth services are available – This is a new convenient way to consult with your doctor if you are unable to visit the clinic.
  3. You should not ignore your regular health needs – Avoiding regular healthcare appointments, testing and check-ups can be dangerous and have long-term health implications. Make sure you attend your appointments.
  4. Your Doctor is not too busy to see you – Eastbrooke has resources and updated processes to help support your GP to deliver care to you. Your health continues to be our number 1 priority!
  5. Stay at home if they have any cold or flu symptoms – no matter how mild – and get tested for COVID-19.

 

Source: https://ama.com.au/media/ama-urges-people-continue-visiting-their-doctor-usual-care 6 April 2020

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