Imagine you have a pain in the lower right side of your abdomen and you present to your local GP. It might be your appendix but it might not….
To establish a definitive answer, your options are:
- fly 2 hours to the nearest city
- drive 5 hours to a larger rural town for a scan
- wait one week for an ultrasound locally, keeping in mind that you could deteriorate at any time and then need an urgent Royal Flying Doctor’s escort out.
What would you choose? Having recently returned from a locum in a remote town of WA, this is just one example of the many tricky situations that patients were faced with.
Now imagine presenting to Floreat Medical with exactly the same problem. You would get urgent blood tests done, an ultrasound arranged and an answer provided that very same day!
Over the last couple of years, I have worked as a short-term locum in remote and rural towns in Western Australia. I now have a deeper understanding of the reasons why the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports “on average, Australians living in rural and remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury and poorer access to and use of health services, compared with people living in metropolitan areas”.
Smaller towns often rely on the services of locum GPs, coupled with the fact that there are often no specialists or allied health workers such as physiotherapists or psychologists regularly in town (if ever in town). It is very challenging for patients to receive the care they need in a timely manner.
As both a consumer and provider of healthcare services, I now truly realise how fortunate we are in metropolitan areas. It is important to appreciate what is on offer, and make the most of it in order to detect problems early and optimise your health. We are fortunate that access to high quality health care is in easy reach.
Are you due for a skin check?
- Is your Cervical Screening Test (previously PAP smear) up to date?
- Is your mammogram due?
- Have you hit 40 and are due to have your cholesterol and blood sugar level checked?
- When did you last have a blood pressure check?
- Have you made an appointment for your free 45-49 year old health check?
- Have you booked in for your free over 75 year old health check?
- Are your immunisations up to date? Free vaccines are available through the childhood schedule and for adults as well.
- Are there conditions that run in your family? Your family history can give us important clues on how we need to look after you. Please ask your GP if there are any screening tests specifically relevant to you.
Floreat Medical is easy to access for an “acute” or sudden problem. We are here to look after you for any “chronic” or long-term health concerns. At the same time, our aim is to work with you on disease prevention and to keep you safe and healthy.
Services and support can be obtained via telephone, telehealth consult and face to face appointments, so don’t hesitate to put you and your health first right away!
Credit: Dr Leanne Heredia