Female patient looking through phoropter during eye exam

Diabetes. Regular eye checks are vital.



All people with diabetes should have regular eye checks. Diabetes can cause loss of vision and blindness which is preventable if detected early. When was your last check? Diabetes damages the very fine blood vessels in the retina (diabetic retinopathy). The retina is a thin layer lining the inner surface of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy

Doctor prepares to perform a pap smear whilst her patient watches on in the background

When is your next Pap smear due?


Are you one of the 40% of women who are not having a Pap smear every 2 years? Regular Pap smears can detect early changes in the cells of the cervix (neck of the womb) which may lead to cancer if untreated. All women over 18 who have ever had sex ­(including with other women)

Acupuncture needles with stones on bamboo mat

Acupuncture. Does it really work?


Acupuncture (AP) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years for pain and other conditions. It is now popular in western society, but is it effective? What is acupuncture? Acupuncture involves stimulating specific points on the body (acupoints) with thin metal needles or low dose laser. According to TCM, pain and

Hungry young woman choosing slice of cake as comfort food from the fridge

Comfort eating. Do you eat to relieve stress?


Do you sometimes comfort yourself with food when you are stressed, angry, bored, sad or lonely? Comfort eating can derail your efforts to lose weight and can lead to significant weight gain. Fortunately, there are strategies which can help you take control. The key to losing weight is low-fat, high-fibre eating and regular exercise. However,

Woman in the sunlight happy because the flu vaccine is free

Flu vaccine now free for more people



Anyone at risk of serious health ­complications from the flu can now get free seasonal flu vaccine from their GP after the government recently extended the free flu vaccine ­program. An additional 2.2 million Australians are now eligible for the free* ­vaccine, including: Those with chronic health conditions, e.g. Heart disease Lung conditions such as

H1N1 Swine flu vaccination

Swine flu vaccine for kids



Pandemic influenza H1N1 2009 (‘swine flu’) vaccine has been approved for use in children from 6 months of age. The vaccine has been carefully studied and shown to be safe and effective in this age group. Although the number of cases in Australia has reduced, a second wave of swine flu is expected in the next few

Broken cigarette isolated on white background

World No Tobacco Day


  Each year, 31 May is World No Tobacco Day and is a good opportunity to review your smoking habit. It’s never too late to quit smoking! Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Half of all long-term smokers are killed by their habit. Most of the damage

Faulty bowel cancer tests



People taking part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program who have had a negative test between 1 December 2008 and 8 May 2009 will be asked to do the test again. Free kits were sent to people for home testing when they turned 50, 55 or 65 years. However, some test kits were found

Are you getting enough iodine?


Australian research shows that 50 % of pregnant women are iodine deficient, which can affect the development of the foetal brain and lead to lower intelligence and learning difficulties. Last week (June 1–7) was Thyroid Awareness Week and is a good opportunity to consider your iodine intake. The Australian Thyroid Foundation recommends iodine supplements for all pregnant

Senior gentleman violently coughing due to the whooping cough

Adult whooping cough vaccine FREE for a limited time



As a result of the current whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak, free vaccine is now available for a limited time for certain adults. Many adults are susceptible to whooping cough and can pass the infection on to children. Babies less than 6 months are at high risk – around one in every 200 who catches whooping


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