The Australian Government has today announced it will extend the Medicare rebate on heart health assessments to 30 June 2025 as part of its upcoming 2023-2024 federal budget.
Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading cause of death in Australia; a total of 1,177 deaths were certified by a doctor as being due to IHD across Australia between the period of 1 February 2021 to 30 January 2022. Heart disease is responsible for close to 1 in 10 deaths in the country and accounts for 6% of our nation’s total disease burden.
Many Australians are unaware they’re at risk of heart disease, but a check-in with a general practitioner (GP) can identify the risk of heart attack or stroke in those patients who haven’t been diagnosed previously.
“Heart disease is Australia’s biggest killer, one Australian has a heart attack or stroke every four minutes. About 2.5 million Australians have a high chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, and many don’t know it,” said Federal Health Minister, Mr Mark Butler.
“Talking to your GP about your heart health save lives, helping to prevent or catch heart disease early so that patients and doctors can take action to reduce the risk before it’s too late.”
The federal budget will be detailed next Tuesday, 9 May.
Those in Victoria seeking health advise can call Nurse-On-Call on 1300 60 60 24, or can use the Health Direct website to find a GP nearest them. Our own COTA WISE Helpline (1300 135 090) may also be of assistance in connecting you with additional programs to keep you active, fit and healthy.