Looking ahead to 2021

I am sure when we were at the same point last year, none of us would have envisaged what was to follow when the clock ticked over to a new decade. The coronavirus pandemic really did turn our world as we know it upside down. Borders shut and interstate and international travel was suddenly off the cards.

For some, we lived and worked at home, had easy access to our pantry, ate more takeaway and exercised less. The COVID-19 kilos crept on and when the time came to return to the office, our clothes were a little tighter, our breathing up the stairs was a little laboured! More sobering was the fact that many lost jobs, businesses closed, and lives were lost. For many it was a tough time.

As we look head-on into 2021, I am sure many of us are re-evaluating what is important and what we want to achieve for the year ahead.

While some people may scoff at the idea, now is a great time to think about your New Year’s Resolution.  Setting a New Year’s Resolution enables you to make a promise to and set yourself an achievable goal.  According to a survey by The Australian Institute of Management, one of the top New Year’s Resolutions for many Australians are wanting to learn and new skill, get healthy and exercise more.

While you may not realise it, St.LukesHealth can assist you on this journey in a myriad of ways, we do after all want you to be the healthiest version of yourself. I am sure many of you are asking “how can a health insurer help?” and I would like to tell you how.

I will stay on top of my health
Can’t remember which doctor or specialists has the health information you are after? Want to have a closer look at your recent X-ray or keep track of your blood glucose levels? As a member of St.LukesHealth, you have free access to the full version of Snug. Snug allows you to keep a digital health record of yours or your family’s health so that you can record health events and share this information with your GP or carers. Best of all, you can connect it to your fitness devices and the Australian Government’s MyHR, giving you an overall view of your heath.

Setting up your Snug account is easy. To download, visit your phone’s App Store or Google Play and search for Snug, then follow the prompts. Don’t forget to enter your St.LukesHealth membership number when you first set up on your account to unlock all the features.

I will eat better and lose weight
In a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 49 per cent of people aged 18 and above do not eat the recommended two serves of fruit a day while 92 percent do not eat the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables a day. Adding to this, in 2017-2018, the AIHW estimated that two in three Australians were overweight and obese.

At St.LukesHealth, we want to ensure that all our members have access to health professionals that can help you develop healthy eating habits while ensuring those who are living with chronic illness receive appropriate dietetics and nutritional advice.

St.LukesHealth offers benefits for many allied health therapies including dietetics and diabetes education. Dieticians really are the food experts who can help motivate and support you on this personal journey.

I will exercise more
Whether you are recovering from an injury or want to increase your movement, there are many benefits to exercising more. Not only does it reduce your risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, it also helps you lower your risk of falls, increases your bone density and muscle strength and helps you manage your weight better.

St.LukesHealth can help you in this journey, enabling you to keep up with the children and grandchildren through paying benefits for physical therapies like exercise physiology, approved group sessions and physiotherapy. We can also assist some members with this through our Health Management Program.

I will improve my mental health
This year demonstrated that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. A person’s mental health affects how they feel, think and behave, and statistics show that almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience mental illness like depression or anxiety at some point in their lifetime.

At St.LukesHealth, we want to ensure that all our members have the opportunity to look after their mental health and that is why we are pleased to be able to offer benefit for clinical psychology and counselling services. We realise for some that accessing this service can be difficult, especially for those living in rural and remote locations, and as a result we’ve committed to pay benefit for telehealth consultations.

I will quit smoking
It is hard to stop smoking as it is an addictive behaviour, but the best thing is your health will improve as soon as you decide to quit. Did you know that St.LukesHealth offers members benefits for Health Management Programs? These programs assist members who have a medical condition and are advised to undertake a program by their medical practitioner to manage their ailment.

Candidates to undertake these programs include those who want to quit smoking or those who are diagnosed as obese and want to participate in weight management programs like Weight Watchers.

I will start a family
Whether you are having your first baby or extending your family, there are plenty of options to help you during this exciting and often daunting time. Many of our Hospital products include pregnancy cover, as well as IVF, which allows you to see your choice of obstetrician and access a private hospital room.

Earlier this year, we launched the Nourish Baby Program, where expectant parents can access free antenatal, labour and post-natal advice from the comfort of their own home. To register for the online portal, you must provide documentation from your obstetrician or GP that you are pregnant, including your due date. Once we have received this information, you will receive your login details.
As I look forward to 2021, I have a few personal resolutions in mind – this includes continuing to go to my boxing classes, not only for my physical health but for my mental well-being also.

On a professional level, my promise to you is to help you be the healthiest version of yourself. Should you like any information on the programs mentioned above and ways St.LukesHealth can assist you on your health journey, visit www.stlukes.com.au, email general@stlukes.com.au or call us on 1300 651 988.

I thank you for being part of the St.LukesHealth family and wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

- Paul Lupo

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