26/2/2019

New dedicated Medicare item for heart health checks in Wide Bay

Wide Bay residents at risk of heart disease will receive timely and appropriate medical advice with the creation of a new Medicare item for heart health checks, Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien announced today.

 Mr O’Brien said from April 1 this year a new dedicated MBS item for heart health checks will support General Practitioners and patients in assessing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Heart disease is Australia’s biggest killer, and the Liberal National Government is deeply committed to tackling this problem,” Mr O’Brien said.
“One Australian dies of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes, and one Australian experiences a heart attack or stroke every five minutes, so these Medicare-funded health checks will ensure people can access timely checks and help save lives.”

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has provided $662.2 million for research into cardiovascular disease and provided $7.7 billion to subsidise medicine to treat cardiovascular disease on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Health Minister Greg Hunt said this new dedicated Medicare item for heart heath checks will save and protect lives.

“The independent medical experts at the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce will also conduct a review with the potential for further development of this new Medicare item,” Minister Hunt said.

Anyone who is concerned about their heart health should always ask their GP for a check-up. Currently there are a range of Medicare items that cover services and tests where people may have heart disease or are at risk of heart disease, including:

  • Specialist consultations with a cardiologist
  • Electrocardiogram tests (ECG)
  • Exercise ECG
  • Stress (exercise) ECG
  • Cardiac ECG
  • Coronary angiography
  • Computed tomography coronary arteries
  • Chest x-ray
  • Electrophysiology studies
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Lipid tests
  • Glucose test
ENDS