Articles, Blog

Guide to planning and coordinating healthcare

December 4, 2019


Managing your
health is something you can do. By being active and
informed about your health, and aware of the healthcare options, you can make the most informed
decisions for your needs and for those you care for. There are six key areas
for you to consider when managing your healthcare. Preparation and research. Making decisions on treatment and care. Communicating openly and honestly. Monitoring health and setting goals. Understanding healthcare
costs and payment. And seeking help and support. Being prepared includes taking the things you need to
your healthcare appointment, including a list of questions you want your healthcare
professional to answer. Being prepared is also about seeking reliable health
information to educate yourself about your health issues
or medical conditions. If taking medication, take time to understand your medication, including what it is specifically for, any special instructions,
and potential side effects. When researching, seek
out reliable sources such as from pamphlets
at a doctor surgery, pharmacies, and community health centres. Government endorsed
health websites and apps such as Better Health Channel, are also a reliable source
of health information. When making healthcare decisions, talk with your medical team in depth, and make sure you fully
understand your options and the benefits and risks. Ask a doctor for a second
opinion if you are unsure about your doctor’s suggested medical
treatment or a diagnosis. Planning includes setting goals for your health or healthcare combined with the ability
to monitor your progress. When planning for the future, it is important to be realistic
about your future health and discuss this with your doctor. Incorporating preventative
measures into your plan, such as visiting you doctor
for regular health checks, or improving diet and
physical activity levels, are also important to overall wellbeing. If taking medication, it is good practise to schedule time to review medications with your doctor. Monitoring the changes
in signs and symptoms you experience is also important. And make sure you see your doctor when you first notice symptoms. Open and honest
doctor-patient communication is an important step in building trust. Some healthcare issues may
be difficult to discuss. However, healthcare
professionals are trained to deal with sensitive issues, and the different cultural needs of the people in their care. If you see more than one
healthcare professional, it helps to tell each of them about the other treatments you are having, or medication you are taking,
including over the counter, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your general practitioner,
GP, is often the best person to coordinate all your
healthcare treatments. Healthcare costs will vary depending on the kind of treatment you are getting, whether you have private health cover, and what government services
you are eligible for. You can get a wide range
of free and subsidised healthcare services through
the Medicare system. It is recommended that you ask about the fees for seeing a healthcare provider before you make an appointment. By planning, managing, and
coordinating your healthcare, you can get the best from
the range of health services and options available to you. For more information, visit
betterhealth.vic.gov.au/planning

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