MP for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education Andrew Gee, is urging Canowindra residents to continue to seek medical care throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and not to shy away due to possible anxiety to attend appointments in medical settings.
The Government's expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services have increased remote access to essential primary health care, including for regular health check-ups, via telephone or through video conferencing services. This also extends to subsidising home delivery services for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medications.
"It's vitally important that local residents' day-to-day health doesn't suffer because of anxiety to attend a health service provider, or uncertainty on how to access telehealth services that may be available," said Mr Gee.
"It's estimated that roughly 7000 cancers could go undiagnosed throughout the coronavirus pandemic as one in ten people are putting off going to the doctor for various reasons.
"It's essential that you continue with any regular health services such as blood tests and screenings for chronic conditions, such as cancer, as these are leading causes of illness, disability and death in Australia," said Mr Gee.
"If you have a regular follow up appointment booked with your health professional, please contact your medical practice to see if this can be carried out using a telehealth consultation (by telephone, or video call), or whether you need to come in for a face-to-face consultation.
"If you are taking regular medication for management of a chronic condition and are running low, please contact your doctor or local pharmacy to arrange a repeat prescription, as PBS medications can now be delivered through the Australian Government COVID-19 Home Medicines Service, at no extra cost," said Mr Gee.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has launched Expert Advice Matters, a nationwide campaign to stop people from neglecting their health concerns during COVID-19. A website, www.expertadvicematters.com.au, has been set up with advice for patients.