Don’t put off your GP visit

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging the community to continue accessing required healthcare despite spiking numbers of Covid-19 in some parts of the country.

This comes following increasing numbers of positive Covid-19 cases in Victoria and New South Wales in recent weeks and the fear that this may lead to patients avoiding or delaying care.

“Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic did result in some patients delaying or avoiding care and that is hugely concerning,” says RACGP Victoria Chari, Dr Anita Munoz.

“When I look at this recent spike in Covid-19 cases I see the potential for patients to put off a consultation with their GP.

“So, my message to all patients is straightforward: Please consult with your GP for any health concerns, whether for an existing condition or new symptoms, be that physical health or mental health.”

Dr Munoz adds that it’s important that community members heed this call because putting off a visit to the GP may result in “a wave of health concerns in coming months”.

“The last thing we want is patients worsening health conditions that could have been treated more effectively earlier,” she says, adding that telephone and telehealth services are available.

“In 2020, the Federal Government heeded the RACGP’s calls to expand Medicare-subsidised telehealth to all patients and late last year the Federal Health Minister indicated that telehealth would become a permanent fixture of Medicare,” adds Dr Munoz.

In April last year, the RACGP launched a nationwide campaign – Expert Advice Matters – to stop people from neglecting their health concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For more information on the campaign, visit: expertadvicematters.com.au

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