The Value of Preventive Health Care

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in Australia, and about 50% of the population is diagnosed with at least one chronic condition. Chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer drastically reduce a person’s quality of life. These findings indeed signal the need for greater emphasis on preventive approaches to health care. Preventive health screenings and primary care consultations have also been found to increase life expectancy, particularly among the 30-50 age group.

What is preventive medicine?

The goal of preventive health care is to help maintain good health throughout your lifetime, increasing your life span, while maintaining a high quality of life. Preventive health measures focus on diseases that can be caught early to save a patient suffering from the resulting condition. Apart from regularly advised diet, exercise and sleep, physicians at the St Ives medical practice use other preventive measures as well. With regular check-ups, proper immunisation, and early screening, warning signs of chronic diseases can be detected, and their impact can be reduced before it worsens.

However, Australians use preventive health care services at about half of the recommended rate. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “chronic diseases account for nine in every ten deaths in Australia.” Chronic illness including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, COPD, stroke and other conditions classified by medical community are preventable and can be managed through early detection, improved diet, regular exercise, better sleep, and therapy. Yes, these chronic diseases can be prevented through close partnership with your health care team at St. Ives medical centre.

Apart from this, preventive health care at North St Ives Medical Practice also focuses on counselling to address patient behaviours and educate them on how smoking and environmental exposure can affect their health. Diabetes, obesity, and smoking risks are common counselling topics when addressing awareness in preventive health.

Top five preventable chronic illnesses

- Heart disease

- Cancer

- Diabetes

- Mental Illness


These are the leading causes of death in Australia and getting appropriate screening tests for these chronic illnesses is the best way to prevent them. Visiting your doctor regularly for a physical and mental health screen throughout every stage of your life is imperative. It is apparent that the benefits of preventive health care are essential in curtailing chronic diseases. Staying healthy is an essential commitment, and being proactive about your health is an excellent way to ensure you are making the best possible medical decisions for yourself.

The author is a GP who works in a reputed medical practice. The North St. Ives Medical Practice is dedicated to providing comprehensive primary health care services to the residents of St Ives and surrounding areas. Visit for more details.

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