Preventive Health

This is to update you on a number of preventive and health promotional activities that we, the doctors and nurses, at the Broken Hill GP Super Clinic are committed to providing to all of our patients as part of caring for our community. These activities are in line with the RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) Guidelines.

There are three types of prevention:

  • Primary Prevention – to prevent the occurrence of disease
  • Secondary Prevention – to reduce the progression of disease through early detection and intervention by screening for the disease before symptoms appear
  • Tertiary Prevention – to prevent complications and limit the impact of a disease where it already exists, through effective management and rehabilitation.

We believe strongly in the role of a General Practitioner in the:

  • Prevention of disease
  • Management of conditions
  • Reduction of the rate of hospital admissions

You may therefore be asked or advised by one of our doctors or nurses, either directly or through a message delivered by the admin/reception staff, to undertake one or more of the following activities that may be relevant to you.

These tests serve to:

  • Monitor your progress
  • Alert us of any early changes that require an action in order to prevent further deterioration
  • Adjust your management or treatment plan
  • Prevent complications
  • Refer you to appropriate services/specialists if needed

Many of these tests are available to you within the practice and are bulk billed. Some may require a referral to an external provider.

  • This test measures the electrical activity of the heart in order to detect any abnormal rhythm in the heart, an enlargement of the heart, evidence of a previous or current damage to the heart muscle. It is done by attaching small electrodes to your arms, legs and chest, and then connecting you to the ECG machine. The test takes about 5 minutes.
  • An ECG is recommended at least yearly for patients with Diabetes.
  • For patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular conditions, it is done regularly as recommended by your GP.
  • This is a lung function test that aims to diagnose and monitor the severity of lung conditions like asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD/Emphysema).
  • It involves blowing into a machine called a spirometer.
  • It is useful for monitoring the progress of those with lung conditions as mentioned above
  • Also for screening smokers for lung disease, and for investigating shortness of breath and other complaints.
  • This is a test that screens for bone fragility and monitors the severity. It is recommended for those at risk and those above the age of 45 years.
  • This is also called Ambulatory ECG. It involves you wearing a small monitor which constantly records your heart rhythm for at least 24 hours. It records the electrical activity of your heart when you are walking about (ambulatory) & doing your normal activities. It aims to detect abnormal heart rhythms that may ‘come and go’.
  • This is a test of the circulation in your lower limbs arteries, and aims to detect blockages or narrowing in the arteries.
  • Recommended for those with atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias.
  • Also useful in investigating palpitations (a sensation in which a person is aware of an irregular, hard or rapid heartbeat), as can be useful in assessing dizzy spells
  • Examples are glucose(sugar) tests to screen for diabetes, cholesterol tests, liver function and kidney function tests
  • These are recommended for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, and for those on certain types of medication.
  • Also recommended for those who are 40 years of age and above even if they do not have a chronic condition, as a preventive test.
  • Urine tests are recommended yearly for people who are 55 years and above
  • Recommended at regular intervals for those above the age of 50 years
  • This is a screen for bowel cancer. It involves taking stool samples for 3 consecutive days and testing them at a pathology laboratory.
  • Recommended 2 yearly for those who have ever been sexually active or who are between the ages of 18 & 70 years. Other intervals may be recommended by your GP
  • Recommended 2 yearly from the age of 50 or earlier and more frequently depending on your risk factors