|Family Health Freebies|
Preventative Health 2
Breast Screen Australia
Primarily recommended for women 50 – 69 years, who have no current symptoms, BreastScreen Australia services provide FREE screening to all women over 40. According to the Australian Government – DHA website, the lifetime risk of women developing breast cancer before the age of 75 years is one in 11. It is recommended that women between the ages of 50 – 69 be screened every 2 years.
BreastScreen Australia operates in over 500 locations nationwide, via fixed, relocatable and mobile screening units, so there is likely to be a convenient location near you.
Breastscreen Australia is proud of their achievements so far, saying screening has increased significantly since commencement of BreastScreen Australia in 1991, with a total of 1,622,481 women screened across Australia in 2005-2006. The program's aim is to achieve a participation rate of 70% among women aged 50-69 years. However, at present, the program is screening 56.9% of women in this age group, so we still have a little way to go. (Australian Government DHA website)
For more information about the Mammogram go to:
To Book a Free screening Mammogram call 13 20 50 from anywhere in Australia (every two years)
Also see our Article on Breast Cancer for more information and links.
Pap (Smear) Tests – National Cervical Screening Program
The Australian Government recommends all women aged between 18 and 70 years who have ever been sexually active should have a Pap test every two years. This includes women who have had the cervical cancer vaccine.
‘You can make an appointment for a Pap smear at a general practitioner, community or women's health centre, family planning clinic, sexual health clinic or Aboriginal Medical Service. When you call you can advise the health service that the purpose of your appointment is to have a Pap smear. It may help to find a practitioner who does Pap smears frequently, and it is fine to ask about this at the time of making an appointment. You can also request that a female doctor or nurse undertake the procedure if this is your preference. The Pap smear is ‘free’ if the Medical professional ‘bulk bills’ for the service – make sure you ask when making the appointment.’ (Australian Government –DHA website)
Pap test registers operate in each state and territory. The Registers keep a confidential record of your Pap smear results and provide a valuable, voluntary and confidential backup system. If you move house, or have a change in circumstance, don’t forget to contact your State Register to update your details.
For more information, and links to State registers go to:
Or Phone: 13 15 56 (for the cost of a local call)
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – in the privacy of your own home
‘The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program offers Australians, who turn 50 years of age between January 2008 and December 2010, and those turning 55 or 65 between July 2008 and December 2010 a free home test kit.’
‘Bowel cancer kills over 80 Australians each week and we know that bowel cancer screening can cut these deaths down by a third. Screening is important because bowel cancer can develop without any early warning symptoms. It can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages. People eligible to participate in the program will receive an invitation through the mail (using their Medicare records) to complete a simple test called a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the privacy of their own home and mail it to a pathology laboratory for analysis.’ (Australian Government – DHA website)
For more information go to:
or call the Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20.
GetScreened.com.au for Colon (Bowel) Cancer
Bowel cancer treated at an early stage can usually be cured. Screening is the most effective way of finding out if you have bowel cancer. At least 1 in 22 Australians will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime (1 in 18 men and 1 in 24 women), and more than 12,000 new cases occur each year, according to the Colorectal Foundation.
According to The Colorectal Foundation, if you are experiencing symptoms or are in a high risk group, you should see your doctor for a check-up.
Do you Measure up ? campaign
According to Australian Government Statistics, 1 in 2 Australian adults is overweight. And, irrespective of your height or build, if your waistline is getting bigger it could mean you are at increased risk of chronic diseases like some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The website provides you with a number of free tools to help you lose weight, particularly where it counts – around your waist. Along with their campaign to increase awareness of weight and how it could affect all areas of your life as you get older, the website provides free downloads to help you on your way to a healthier you, including a 12 week planner, a tape measure for men and one for women, and plenty of free information about how to achieve your preventative health goals. You can even share your own tips as you go at: http://www.measureup.gov.au/internet/abhi/publishing.nsf/Content/What+tips+do+other+people+have
To find out how to measure yourself, and for the free 12 week planner, go to:
Other tests you should consider are:
Coronary Artery Disease – recommended for people aged over 45 years
Glaucoma – recommended first check age 40 years
Please speak to your Doctor about arranging any of the other tests above, and ask whether they are covered by Medicare or Bulk Billing.
Other Free Health Services
If you are a teenager aged 12 – 17 years and are eligible, the Australian Government will enable you to receive a free Preventative Dental Check through Medicare.
You will be sent a letter and voucher in the post to the teenager, family or carer. If you believe you are eligible but don’t receive a letter, or have lost your voucher, call 132 011 or visit any Medicare office.
The voucher entitles you to a number of services for free, so for eligibility, and information about how it works go to:
Or call 132 011,
Or visit your nearest Medicare office and speak to a representative
Medical Interpreting Services for non-English Speaking Australian Citizens
The Australian Government will provide free interpreting services for non-English speaking citizens who wish to see a private medical practitioner providing Medicare-rebateable services, or pharmacies for the purposes of dispensing PBS medications.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this section should not be used for individual medical or professional advice.
Please see your Doctor if you have concerns or specific questions relating to your health or seek professional advice as required.