Medicines Australia has announced it is now one of the founding members of Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC), a national communication collaboration of 15 Peak Bodies, Industry and Healthcare Organisations coming together to stress the importance for people to continue monitoring their health and maintaining their regular medical care.
The group has formed after concerns that Australians are not maintaining their regular doctor visits for existing chronic conditions and/or putting off seeing their doctor to get a test, investigation, or immunisation due to fears of contracting COVID-19 or burdening the health system.
“This wide-ranging collaboration from all parts of the healthcare system demonstrates that we have concerns that some people are not taking care of their health,” Medicines Australia Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth de Somer said.
“Across the board, from GP visits, to pathology, to screening, to acute care presentations, we have seen a significant drop off in Australians taking care of their health. And while this is understandable due to COVID-19, it could lead to long-term health consequences for the patient and the community.
“It could mean the difference between an early stage cancer diagnosis, which could be treated relatively easily, to a stage four – at which treatment options become far more limited.
“From a pharmaceutical perspective, medication adherence is important for controlling chronic conditions, treating temporary conditions and overall long-term health and wellbeing.
“By not seeking treatment now, it could also mean that there will be a heavy influx of people needing treatment in a few months’ time, which will place undue burden on the health system precisely when it needs to be managed very carefully,” she said.
The collaboration is expected to remain operational for the next three to six months, with a review on objectives.