Published in The West Australian - Your Health Checks
Working to continue a downward trend in Western Australia influenza cases, Pharmacy 777 has provided flu vaccinations to more than 115,000 people across their WA network.
The WA-founded group has been supporting community health for more than 55 years and has over 60 locations across WA which offer a range of health services including vaccinations and health checks to identify health risks and improve health outcomes of patients.
This is also the first year of Pharmacy 777’s Alliance with HBF, WA’s largest health insurance provider. This partnership has enabled more than 50,000 eligible HBF members to receive the flu vaccination service fully covered by their health fund.
Pharmacy 777 Managing Director, Kim Brotherson said the partnership has been critical to ensuring more Western Australians have access to care, while continuing to push down flu numbers, particularly in light of COVID-19.
“It has been an unprecedented flu season, and we are proud of the role our community pharmacies play to help protect the people of Western Australia,” Mr Brotherson said.
“Working closely with our health partners, we are focused on developing accessible, personalised health services to improve the health outcomes for all patients.”
As of May 2, 445,181 WA residents had received flu vaccinations, with 80,000 of these being delivered by Pharmacy 777.
The vaccinations fit into a wide range of services the pharmacy offers to help Western Australians maintain control over their health. As WA experiences relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, health care professionals are encouraging the community to check in with their health and seek the professional support and advice of their GP and Pharmacist.
Pharmacist Kristian Ray said, “Getting a health check is important, as it can identify some early risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, which may be prevented through early screening and lifestyle modifications,” Mr Ray said.
“During the private 20-minute appointment your pharmacist goes through a series of questions relating to your health including family history, health history, and lifestyle, such as diet, exercise and alcohol consumption. Your pharmacist will also measure your blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference.”
“At the end of your appointment, you’ll receive instant results and an assessment of your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease over the next 5 years. We work together with your GP for continuity of care, resulting in optimal health outcomes.”
According to the Commonwealth Government’s National Health Survey, cardiovascular or heart disease is associated with several lifestyle factors and conditions, including smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, being inactive or overweight, depression and an unhealthy diet.
There were 43,447 deaths attributable to cardiovascular disease in Australia in 2017 and in the 2015-16 financial year, there were more than 1.1 million hospitalisations.
The National Health Survey also found one in twenty Australians (1.2 million people) were living with diabetes in the 2017-18 financial year.
Mr Ray said that while a busy lifestyle might make it hard to make room for health care, Pharmacy 777 offered quick and comprehensive services that focused strongly on improving health outcomes.
“More often than not, when talking to patients, we hear the same reasons why prioritising their health is difficult. Stress, lack of time and family demands all play a part. Our Health Check service is designed to be quick, informative and connect patients to the right care, including referrals to their GP” Mr Ray said.
“Being proactive about prioritising your health is really important and our Pharmacists are always available to provide support and advice to you and your family.”