Check heart health
IT WAS great to see from the Queensland chief health officer’s The Health of Queenslanders 2018 report issued last week that we are living longer.
But the question needs to be asked, how well are we living?
While it is good news to see premature death rates from cardiovascular disease have continued to decline, the fact is this leaves us with a larger ageing population who are living longer lives with the burden of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
An ageing and unwell population is an increasing concern for us as a community. It places a burden not only on the person but also their family, carers and the health and hospital system.
One move to keep Queenslanders well and reduce the pressure on our health system would be an increased focus on preventative health, so people can reduce their risk of heart disease and age with wellness. We want to stop the heart attacks before they happen.
It is also good news from the report that we are smoking less and walking more – these actions will reduce your risk of a heart attack. They will make a big difference to Queenslanders’ quality of life.
The report also tells us that two out of five older Queenslanders have high blood pressure and one in three have high cholesterol.
This is a stark reminder to see a doctor and get your heart health checked. Left untreated, they are putting you in the express lane towards a heart attack.
Ultimately, we all want to not only live longer lives but healthier, happier ones as well. — Stephen Vines CEO, Heart Foundation Queensland
Lung cancer aware
NOVEMBER is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and we’re urging all Central Queensland locals to help raise awareness of the disease, reduce their risk and support those affected.
Lung cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women and is the leading cancerrelated cause of death in Queensland.
In Central Queensland alone, about 123 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.
The main symptoms of lung cancer are a new dry cough or change in a chronic cough, chest pain or breathlessness, repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis, or coughing or spitting up blood.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have cancer but it’s important to talk to your GP if you experience them.
While there are many factors that can contribute to lung cancer, we do know that smoking is the leading cause – and because of this many patients, particularly non-smokers, can feel stigmatised by their illness.
A cancer diagnosis is isolating – but it can be especially tough if there is stigma involved.
Stigma contributes to psychological distress, negatively impacting on the patient’s quality of life and sometimes influencing treatment decisions.
More education and awareness is needed to diminish lung cancer stigma and, with your help, we can ensure that no one goes through lung cancer alone.
If you or someone you know is affected by lung cancer, please phone Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 for access to a range of publications, confidential support and referrals, or visit our website, cancerqld.org.au.
— Chris McMillan CEO, Cancer Council
THE LNP supports access to maternity services in regional Queensland.
We believe that expecting mums in regional areas deserve the same level of healthcare as those in cities.
As someone who was born in a regional hospital, I understand how important these services are to rural and regional families.
It was great to see the 1000th baby born recently at Beaudesert Hospital, following the reopening of maternity services by the LNP. This comes on the back of the restoration of maternity services at Chinchilla Hospital after being shut for almost a year.
We strongly believe that Queenslanders deserve a world-class health system no matter where they live.
We will continue the fight to see services returned to Theodore as well.
Our hard-working nurses, midwives, doctors and paramedics need more support to improve frontline health services in the bush.
As a nurse, I know how important local maternity care is. We need to help expecting mums have their babies as close to home as they can.
— Ros Bates MP, Shadow Minister for Health and
Ambulance Services, Shadow Minister for Women