Prevention Better Than Cure–Visit Your Family Doctor For A Check-Up
Every day, almost 35,000 GPs across Australia play a fundamental role in providing personalised care and advice that helps keep people healthy, and keep health costs down.
AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that AMA Family Doctor Week 2017 was a time to recognise GPs for the work they do, not only to keep people out of hospital, but to conserve precious health resources.
“Family doctors are leaders in preventive health care, early diagnosis and treatment, coordinated care, and chronic disease management,” Dr Gannon said.
“GPs provide immunisations, and screening and early identification for healthy child development, communicable diseases, and chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and mental health.
“Patients can discuss their risk factors with their GP, who can then develop a targeted preventive health screening program for them. GPs have a sound understanding of when to refer a patient for further tests or to another specialist.
“Diagnostic tests should only be conducted if they are clinically indicated, evidence backed, and cost effective - that is, they benefit patients and don't incur unnecessary costs.
“The AMA opposed recent moves by pharmacists to start offering costly health screening services, because this only discourages continuous, life-long care. Unnecessary health screening and tests are a waste of time and money, and can cause needless worry, confusion, or even more downstream costs for patients.
“Decisions about preventive screening require significant training and expert clinical judgement, and your family doctor is best placed to help you.”
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28 July 2017
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Published: 28 Jul 2017