You need to know about the 715 Health Check 

You may be wondering, what on earth is a 715 Health Check. Well don’t worry, you are not alone.  The good news is that we have spoken to Rodney Matthews, NCNS Aboriginal Program Manager of our Closing the Gap team who is going to let you know exactly what It is and why you should get one.

What is a 715 Health Check?

A 715 Health Check is a health assessment that helps to ensure that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people receive primary health care matched to their needs, by encouraging early detection, diagnosis and intervention for common and treatable conditions that cause morbidity and early mortality.

What does it involve and what will happen during a 715 Health Assessment?

The patient will receive an assessment of their health, including their physical, psychological and social wellbeing as well as assessing what preventative health care, education and other assistance should be offered to the patient to improve their health and wellbeing.

It complements existing services already undertaken  by a range of health care providers. This health assessment must include:

  • information collection, including taking a patient history and undertaking examinations and investigations as required;
  • making an overall assessment of the patient;
  • recommending appropriate interventions;
  • providing advice and information to the patient;
  • keeping a record of the health assessment, and offering the patient a written report about the health assessment, with recommendations about matters covered by the health assessment; and
  • offering the patient’s carer (if any, and if the medical practitioner considers it appropriate and the patient agrees) a copy of the report or extracts of the report relevant to the carer.

As part of the health assessment,  a medical practitioner may develop a simple strategy for the good health of the patient. The strategy should identify any services the patient needs and the actions the patient, or parent or carer, should take. It should be developed in collaboration with the patient, or parent or carer, and documented in the written report on the assessment that is offered to the patient, and/or patient’s carer.

Who should get a 715 health check?

The 715 health assessment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people covers the full age spectrum, and should be used for health assessments for the following age groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who are less than 15 years old.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults who are aged fifteen years and over but under the age of 55 years.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people who are aged 55 years and over.
  • You do not need to be diagnosed with any chronic health conditions to get a 715 Health Assessment.

This health assessment is an annual service. The minimum time allowed between services is nine (9) months. This allows flexibility for very remote communities, where medical practitioner visits may be less frequent and may make it more difficult to follow a consistent schedule of health assessments.

What happens after the 715 health check?

After you get the 715 you may have a GP management plan or care plan developed. You can be referred to allied health services such as physio, psychology, OT. Your GP can also ensure you receive your benefits under the closing the gap pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Those not on concession will receive discounted medications through PBS. Those on a concession may receive free medications under the PBS.

If you are diagnosed with a chronic health condition relating to Diabetes, Renal disease, respiratory disease, cardiology or cancer you may be referred to the closing the gap ITC program for further support.

Can you give us an example of how a 715 Health Check has helped one of your clients?

We had a client that was feeling stressed out and run down. They also had a knee that had been a bit sore for while and causing discomfort resulting in lost sleep. However, they had not got it checked out as they had no money to pay for services.

They decided to get a 715 health check at their local GP. After going through the check the GP was able to identify the need for the patient to talk to a professional about their emotional and psychological well-being. They were referred for 10 appointments to a counsellor as well as 5 appointments to a physiotherapist for their knee. All of with were covered by Medicare. They had also been placed on the CTG pharmaceutical benefits scheme giving them access to cheaper medication.

A few weeks on and they were now feeling better about themselves. Their knee was getting better and they could afford any of the medications that were prescribed to them. They had also received clarity from the counselling services. This allowed them to better able to understand their emotional well-being and develop strategies to stay on track.

Does it cost anything?

The 715 health assessment does not cost the patient anything.

How do you get one? What do I ask for?

Go to you regular GP and ask for a 715 Aboriginal Health check. It’s that easy.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Book your 715 Health Check with your GP today!

To speak with the NCNS Closing the Gap team,  please call 02 4706 0299 or email ctg@nepeancommunity.org.au

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