Women’s Health Week is celebrated annually in September and serves as an important reminder to look after your health and wellbeing. Given the stress of COVID-19, it is especially important to take time out to check in on your health and implement positive changes. Each day of the week has been dedicated to a specific women’s health topic, including reproductive, cardiovascular, bladder, gut and bowel, mental, and financial health.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is encouraging women to book in health checks with their GPS as Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) data indicated a drop in GP visits by females during the pandemic. There was a decrease of almost 24% of female face-to-face GP visits from March to June 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.
Dr Lara Roeske, RACGP spokesperson, urged women to use this week as a reminder to prioritise their health. “We know that women can tend to put the needs of their loved ones before themselves – on top of that many have faced additional stress, anxiety and financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My message to women across Australia is this: even in the most difficult times, it’s important to take care of your own health and wellbeing.”
She also emphasised the availability of telehealth GP offerings. “The overwhelming majority of GPs are offering telehealth appointments and it’s safe to visit your clinic if you need to go in-person – general practices have implemented a range of infection prevention and control measures for patient and staff safety. So, there is no need to delay, now’s the time to put your health and wellbeing first. If you’ve delayed an appointment or have a new concern, call your GP today.”