For effective preventive care, policies and programs are needed that provide incentives, address workforce roles, utilise information systems and empower patients
With an ageing population, a stretched health budget, and mounting costs associated with increasing levels of chronic disease, prevention is a priority for all Australian governments. But how effectively is evidence-based preventive care currently being provided in general practice? Rates of cancer screening by general practitioners have improved dramatically,1 but there has been less progress in other aspects of preventive care — for example, fewer than 30% of patients at risk of chronic disease are routinely given advice about diet or physical activity, and only 10% are referred to other health care practitioners for interventions.2
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