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Preventative Health In The Spotlight Post Covid

Australia | Mar 15 2023

The post-covid world presents an opportunity for healthcare professionals to engage more deeply with preventative care, as Australians list healthcare advice as a top motivator for actively managing their health.

-Australians report being more comfortable using at home testing in the post-pandemic world
-Opportunity exists for healthcare professionals to engage more deeply with Australians about preventative healthcare measures 
-Advice from a healthcare professional remains a top motivator to engaging with preventative healthcare

By Danielle Austin 

In the aftermath of the covid pandemic, Australians have begun seeking out more reputable sources of information when it comes to their health and preventative measures, offering opportunity for healthcare professionals to engage more deeply with preventative healthcare.  

National Australia Bank’s research described preventative healthcare as “taking a proactive approach to your own health through exercise, diet, quitting smoking/alcohol and drugs, regular health screening and check-ups, and generally taking steps to ensure your mental and physical health are as good as possible.”

NAB believes the pandemic gave Australians opportunity to become more comfortable with checking their health status in the comfort of their own homes. Its data suggest Australians are most comfortable using at-home testing to diagnose infection, but are also highly comfortable testing for future health risks – such as cancer – with at-home tests. 

According to the bank’s recent health insights report, four in ten Australians feel they have made their health a bigger priority in the last year, although it was noted the data did mask wide differences in preventative health approaches between different demographics.

Typically, those in capital and regional cities appear to be taking increased preventative measures when it comes to their health, compared to those in rural areas, alongside women and younger Australians. 

Smoking tobacco remains the most preventable cause of ill health and death in Australia

NAB has identified four areas where it believes Australians are increasingly aware of preventative measures – smoking, staying connected with family and friends, eating healthier, and being sun smart. 

While Australia has been among world leaders in mitigating tobacco use and driving a decline in the number of people smoking, around one in five Australians continues to smoke often or always. 

Engaging with patients about preventative care

NAB also sought out information on motivators that would further encourage Australians to take an active role in managing their health. Topping the list of motivators were financial support or incentives, such as payments or vouchers to participate in preventative health care like screening and vaccinations.

Such incentives have been proven to be particularly motivating among low-income and high-risk populations. 

Other motivators included having more time and energy to make healthy choices, as well as being directed to take action by health professionals, having health professionals work closely with them to manage their wellness, and better or more convenient access to healthcare professionals. 

National Australia Bank believes, post covid, medical practitioners have the opportunity to engage more deeply with patients around health and preventative measures.

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