Health check items attract more criticism

A GP survey branding the Federal Government’s preventive health initiatives ‘ineffective’ has sparked calls for a review of current MBS health assessment items, which experts say are impractical and too narrow in their scope.

A national survey of almost 500 GPs, carried out for Medical Observer by Julie Dang and Associates, found that 40% of GPs believed the 45- to 49-year-old health check had been ineffective, and 45% believed it had been only moderately useful.

The same survey also found that 64% of GPs believed the much criticised Healthy Kids Check had been ineffective, while 44% of respondents also considered the 40- to 49-year-old diabetes risk evaluation to have been equally ineffective.

Mark Harris, professor of general practice at the University of NSW, said while he backed the use of health assessments in general practice, the age limits of the 45- to 49-year-old health check in particular meant the initiatives overlooked