Primary and Community Health Encourages Self-Management of Health

Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Portland District Health’s primary and community health team throwing down the challenge to people from Portland and surrounding districts to become better self-managers of their health care.

Director of Primary and Community Health Fiona Heenan said early intervention is great but prevention is best!

The team is promoting a prevention is best campaign designed to make people better self-managers of their health, particularly if they are living with chronic conditions. Many chronic conditions go undetected until the body cannot cope anymore, which may result in a stroke or heart attack.

The good news is that PDH has a great team of highly qualified professionals covering a wide spectrum of health - and there is virtually no waiting list for services.

Ms Heenan said PDH in conjunction with Active Health Portland was able to provide a one-stop shop for health care.

The team provides access to allied health services, physiotherapy, and chronic disease and complex care management, including asthma and diabetes education, along with community nursing and specialist nursing services.

We have our primary care staff working out of Active Health Portland where they work in conjunction with the GP practice,Ms Heenan said.

Seeing your doctor for regular medical check-ups will help you stay healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, when treatment may be more successful.

Our staff can also visit other GP practices to provide outreach services if there is the patient demand.

We are very fortunate to have a short wait list in most areas and to have such a variety of services available locally,Ms Heenan said.

Doctor referrals are helpful but are not required.

Despite the services being readily available, PDH has noticed many people are not seeking assistance until their condition has worsened.

We want to get people in earlier,” Ms Heenan said. It's about early intervention or prevention is best rather than waiting until complications happen. Everyone needs a check-up every now and then and we're encouraging people to be better self-managers of their own health.

Some people with chronic conditions are for varying reasons dropping out of their care.

We know with the National Diabetes Supply Scheme that about 50 per cent of people with diabetes haven't accessed the scheme in the past 12 months. We need to keep engaging people back into the system so they remain up-to-date with the latest in self-management and new technologies.

Ms Heenan added that new management options were inexpensive and PDH would work with all clients to make sure care is timely and affordable.

For more information contact 55210653, or email:

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