During the first Covid lockdown in Australia last year and the extended one in Victoria over the winter of 2020, many health experts noticed a worrying trend. People were putting off seeing their doctors for regular check-ups, cancer screening and follow-up care. In some places, attendances at emergency departments and GPs were down by 50%. When surveyed, patients said they were worried that the health system was already overburdened or were concerned about whether it was safe to seek medical care.

Obviously health experts are worried that the same thing is happening during Sydney’s extended lockdown. Delaying medical care, whether it’s for a routine check-up, management of an existing condition, or investigation of a new symptom, can lead to more advanced disease with worse outcomes: a visit to your GP now could prevent you from ending up in hospital later. It’s more important than ever to take good care of ourselves and our loved ones so we can better meet the challenges ahead.

Cancer Checks
Many cancers are treatable and even curable if detected early enough. Some cancer screening tests, like cervical cancer and bowel cancer tests can actually detect very early changes that, with simple treatments, can prevent cancer from developing. The breast cancer screening program, with 2 yearly mammograms from the age of 50, has been so successful at early detection that the mortality rate has dropped significantly. At the time of writing, NSW Breast Screen has temporarily closed due to the NSW Covid outbreak. GPs can still perform breast checks and arrange mammograms so please see us if you have any concerns. Check the NSW Breast Screen website for the latest.

Existing medical conditions
If you have an existing medical condition, like hypertension or diabetes, you know that regular review of your condition can ensure that you are on top of things and managing your condition well. Regular care can mean less trips to hospital or complications requiring specialist care.

Preventative Care
We recommend that you continue seeing us for your routine check-ups. As GPs, it’s incredibly rewarding to play a role in preventing illness from developing in the first place. Blood pressure checks, help with lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, immunisations and stress management, just to name a few, are important for your overall health and well-being.

Accessing health care is safe
The good news is that we are doing everything possible to make your GP visit safe. In fact, all health services are doing the same. We offer telehealth appointments over the phone or via video, e-scripts and we have stringent covid-safe measures in the practice should you need an in-person consultation. From masks, check-ins, distancing and special cleaning procedures, we are ready and able to continue delivering the best possible care to you and your family.

Further reading:

Cancer Screening

Regular Health Checks

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