The Federal Government has confirmed it will extend the Medicare Heart Health Check for another two years to continue preventing vulnerable people from heart disease and stroke.
The 20-minute Heart Health Check is Medicare’s only preventative health check for Australians aged 50-74 years – a demographic that represents more than half of the individuals hospitalised for coronary heart disease each year.
Earlier this year, The Heart Foundation and all the Medicare Heart Health Check partners launched a petition which attracted more than 40,000 public signatures and resulted in hundreds of letters being written by Australians to their local MPs, calling for their support to extend the checks.
Using the Heart Foundation-supplied Heart Health Check toolkit, General Practitioners (GPs) can then develop a preventative action plan to help that person take the necessary action to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.
During the check-up, a GP checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels and asks key questions about your nutrition, exercise, and medical and family history.
All of these factors allow the GP to use a validated risk prediction equation to accurately assess their patient’s chances of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years.
The Heart Foundation has welcomed the announcement and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Lloyd, thanked the Government for acknowledging the importance of preventative heart health medicine.
Mr Lloyd also thanked the Australian public for the support they’ve shown to ensure heart checks aren’t overlooked and the GPs, nurses and general practice staff who have delivered more than 450,000 Heart Health Checks since 2019.