HOW as health professionals do we encourage patients to put their general health in a balanced perspective with COVID-19 fears, lockdown and ongoing media hype.
At Qualitas Health, our latest campaign has simple messaging to remind the community that Victoria’s stage four guidelines are in place to keep people healthy and enable them to continue a health maintenance regimen with their doctor. After all, COVID isn’t our only health concern.
Patient absenteeism in Victoria is leading to an increase in the number of deaths from cancer and other serious illnesses. The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday that its patients’ fear of COVID-19 and Melbourne’s lockdown that’s the cause of many skipping health appointments, making health professionals unable to diagnose diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease early. Cancer Council Victoria saw a 28% decline in pathology notifications of cancer reported in the first wave (120 people per day) and commented on how the recent stage four lockdown is showing a similar drop. When patients are finally presenting, it is said to be with more advanced stages of cancer, making it harder or not possible to treat.
AFR subscribers can read source article at: https://www.afr.com/policy/health-and-education/more-cancer-deaths-from-covid-19-lockdown-20200807-p55jnm