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Returning to a new normal: Working together to put your health first

Returning to a new normal: Working together to put your health first
Jul 01, 2020
As restrictions ease and we return to a ‘new normal’, it is more important than ever for Australians to check in on their general health and to make appointments for important tests and routine screenings.

Janssen endorses the efforts of the Commonwealth and State Governments and leading healthcare organisations that are urging people to continue monitoring their health, reconnecting with doctors and maintaining regular medical care.

Recently, a national survey by the Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) revealed that, 32% of respondents had delayed or avoided a visit to a general practitioner since COVID-191 and 55% felt it was safe to delay regular appointments if their condition had not changed2. Worryingly, this may indicate people with existing or undiagnosed chronic conditions may not be accessing the care they need. Continuity of care and patient safety have never been more important, particularly for those who have chronic or complex diseases and conditions, the elderly, and immuno-compromised individuals.

If you have postponed a visit to a healthcare professional, having a pathology test or other important screening or monitoring test, don’t delay these appointments any further. It is alright to utilise Australia’s world-leading healthcare system and visit your doctor as we go through this challenging time.

We’ve included below some helpful and practical resources to support Australians returning to regular healthcare routines and treatment plans. Don’t put your health on hold any longer.

 

Medicines Australia Resources

An open letter: Encouraging Australians to visit healthcare professionals3

To avoid the risk of trading one health problem for another, healthcare professionals have desperately urged Australians in an open letter to please get in touch and book appointments today.

The dangers of postponing appointments and treatment plans is not something we should be risking. Health services are currently open and prepared for in-person check-ups with increased hygiene precautions. And there are options for digital consultation in a private and controlled environment.

With restrictions easing, now more than ever, it's important to reconnect with doctors to understand how to best manage healthcare and treatment plans going forward. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease won’t wait, so neither should you.”

Learn More

 

Australia’s leading healthcare organisations join forces to highlight continuity of care4

In an Australian-first collaboration, 32 Peak Bodies, Industry and Healthcare Organisations have come together to form the Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) to support Australians to return to normal healthcare routines. This comes off the back of growing concerns from doctors that we, as a nation, have dropped routine healthcare visits and are putting off medical screenings due to fears of contracting COVID-19 or burdening the health system.

Early stage detection and prevention of symptoms can save lives and with restrictions easing, the CCC is developing resources and urging people to continue monitoring their health and return to regular medical treatment today.

Learn More

 

Additional information

  1. Pathology Awareness Australia Limited, 2020, ‘SURVEY SHOWS AUSTRALIANS DELAYED GP APPOINTMENTS AND PATHOLOGY TESTS, BUT PATIENTS STARTING TO RETURN’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://knowpathology.com.au/2020/06/12/survey-shows-australians-delayed-gp-appointments-and-pathology-tests/
  2. Continuity of Care Collaboration by The London Agency, 2020, ‘CONTINUITY OF CARE COLLABORATION CONSUMER SURVEY: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE DURING COVID-19’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://knowpathology.com.au/app/uploads/2020/06/London-Agency-KPKH-InfographicFinal.pdf
  3. Medicines Australia, 2020, 'An Open Letter to Australians' (accessed 02/07/2020), https://medicinesaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/05/220520-An-open-letter-to-Australians-V6.pdf
  4. Medicines Australia, 2020, 'Medicines Australia joins forces with 15 healthcare organisations to highlight continuity of care' (accessed 02/07/2020), https://medicinesaustralia.com.au/media-release/medicines-australia-joins-forces-with-15-healthcare-organisations-to-highlight-continuity-of-care/

 

References for information in social media posts

52% of Aussies recently surveyed have delayed or avoided a form of medical appointment in the last 3 months.
Continuity of Care Collaboration by The London Agency, 2020, ‘CONTINUITY OF CARE COLLABORATION CONSUMER SURVEY: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE DURING COVID-19’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://knowpathology.com.au/app/uploads/2020/06/London-Agency-KPKH-Info...
 
 
32% of Aussies recently surveyed have delayed/avoided a visit to their local GP since COVID-19.
Pathology Awareness Australia Limited, 2020, ‘SURVEY SHOWS AUSTRALIANS DELAYED GP APPOINTMENTS AND PATHOLOGY TESTS, BUT PATIENTS STARTING TO RETURN’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://knowpathology.com.au/2020/06/12/survey-shows-australians-delayed...
 
 
More than 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer such as leukaemia each year.
Leukaemia Foundation, 2020, ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.leukaemia.org.au/disease-information/frequently-asked-questi...
 
 
More than 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with blood cancer such as myeloma each year.
Leukaemia Foundation, 2020, ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.leukaemia.org.au/disease-information/frequently-asked-questi...
 
 
During the COVID-19, PSA testing dropped by an alarming 60%.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, 2020, ‘Men at risk of deadly diagnosis: Prostate cancer testing falls 60%’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.pcfa.org.au/news-media/news/men-at-risk-of-deadly-diagnosis-...
 
 
Because PAH is progressive it can advance quickly, especially if left untreated. Delays in diagnosis which prevent early treatment can therefore impact patients' conditions, particularly at this time.
Lung Foundation Australia, 2020, ‘PAH Factsheet’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Factsheet-PAH-A...
 
 
For the 1 in 250 Australians living with Crohn's, COVID-19 has been particularly difficult having been at greater risk.
Crohn’s and Colitis Australia, 2013, ‘Improving Inflammatory Bowel Disease Care Across Australia (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au/research/studies-reports/
Australian Department of Health, 2020, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people with chronic health conditions’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov...
 
 
COVID-19 has been a difficult time for people living with chronic conditions, including the 1.6 million Australians living with psoriasis.
Australian Department of Health, 2020, ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for people with chronic health conditions’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov...
Psoriasis Australia, c2020, ‘The Impact of Psoriasis’ (accessed 30/06/2020),  http://www.psoriasisaustralia.org.au/
 
 
Over 400,000 Aussies live with rheumatoid arthritis and there have been concerns about taking medication during #COVID-19.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019, ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/rheum...
Arthritis Australia, 2020, ‘UPDATED: Advice regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) from the Australian Rheumatology Association’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/advice-regarding-coronavirus-covid-19-...
 
 
Schizophrenia affects 1 in every 100 Australians. COVID-19 can make mental health conditions like schizophrenia more challenging.
Ausmed, 2020, ‘Schizophrenia: The Chronic Mental Illness Affecting 1 in 100 Australians’ (accessed 30/06/2020), https://www.ausmed.com.au/cpd/articles/schizophrenia
Nicole Kozloff, Benoit H Mulsant, Vicky Stergiopoulos, Aristotle N Voineskos, (2020), ‘The COVID-19 Global Pandemic: Implications for People With Schizophrenia and Related Disorders’, Schizophrenia Bulletin, sbaa051, (accessed 30/06/2020) https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbaa051