Looking beyond COVID-19 when protecting your health


Australians are encouraged to look beyond COVID-19 when it comes to maintaining their health amidst concerns that some people are avoiding healthcare as a result of a fear of visiting a clinic or hospital[1] or perceived lack of access to services.


For some people, this can mean not making a GP appointment they otherwise would have made for a physical or mental health concern, while others may delay seeking attention from ancillary providers such as physiotherapists or dentists. In either instance, the consequences of denying yourself healthcare in a timely fashion can be serious or in extreme cases, potentially life-threatening.

Dr Zoe Wainer, Head of Public Health and Medical Director at Bupa said early intervention is vital for ensuring many illnesses or complaints don’t develop into serious conditions.

“If you have a skin spot you are concerned about, get it looked at. If you are due for a cervical cancer screening or blood test, get that done. If you are on a mental health care plan, don’t wait until the pandemic is over for your next consultation… regular diseases and ailments are not taking a break during COVID-19.

“It is true that access to some health services were interrupted in some way as a result of COVID-19, but essential GP, hospital and allied health care has always been available for those in need. People don’t need to be toughing it out at home,” said Dr Wainer.

While clinics for services such as physiotherapy, psychology and dietetics have now reopened across most of the country, those who cannot, or are not comfortable visiting these locations in-person can receive treatments via telehealth.

Bupa customers are now covered for a range of popular Extras services delivered via telephone or video conferencing[1] on an ongoing basis. Chemotherapy and rehabilitation in the home options are also available for some people preferring to receive those treatments outside of a hospital setting.

“Hospitals, GPs and clinics are all going to great lengths to ensure the safety of their patients with stringent hygiene and social distancing practices.

“The only unsafe aspect of essential medical care is avoiding it. So please take all the recommended precautions and measures to look after your health and that of your families during this challenging time,” said Dr Wainer.

[1] https://www.racgp.org.au/gp-news/media-releases/2020-media-releases/july-2020/fears-for-culturally-and-linguistically-diverse-pa

[1] Under applicable Extras health insurance products

Media reference number: 20/083