A new report has found that millions of Australians are missing out on a health service that could dramatically improve our lives, especially those of us who are living with chronic disease.
Independent advisory practice Deloitte Access Economics in conjunction with Exercise & Sports Science Australia released a research paper showing that only 1 per cent of patients eligible for free exercise physiology sessions are being referred.
These sessions are Medicare funded and provide support for clients with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes, diabetes, osteoporosis, mental health problems, cancer, arthritis, pulmonary disease and more.
Exercise physiologists assess you movement capacity and prescribe appropriate exercise therapy, which the paper shows can improve people’s health, stave off more serious conditions and save the government thousands of dollars per patient.
ESSA Chief Executive Officer, Anita Hobson-Powell, said while almost 50 per cent of Australians are living with some form of chronic disease such as diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease, and as many as 13 million Australians are at risk of chronic disease, very few were referred to an exercise physiologist.
“At present, eligible patients are entitled to access specialised exercise interventions from an accredited exercise physiologist that are subsidised by the Australian government through the Medicare Benefits Schedule annually. However, it is apparent these service offerings are being largely overlooked, which can be of detriment to patient care and the broader economy,” Ms Hobson-Powell said.
If you are suffering any long-term health issues, be sure to ask your doctor for a referral to an exercise physiologist to make the most of this potentially life-changing health service.
Were you aware of this service? Could it be of help to you?