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I am a cancer survivor. It takes courage to admit that publicly and frankly, to myself. I experienced my first serious melanoma in 2000. It was a frightening experience as was the surgery that followed. It is my motivation for cycling which I have taken up only quite recently to raise money for cancer research. See www.visioncrusaders.com.

This is not why I am writing though. Securing appointments with healthcare providers is too difficult in Australia. I often read about government programs for healthcare reform and efforts by industry associations to drive change and improvement. Few of these efforts by these groups address the concerns of every day Australians. As a patient, I can’t help but feel that the healthcare industry and government are disconnected from the needs of every day Australian’s. Not intentionally, as I know each feels passionately about patient care, but the truth is that it is not getting any easier to secure healthcare services in Australia.

Did you know that 31% of urban and 44% of rural Australians say it is difficult to get a healthcare appointment at a time that suits them? 34% of Australians said they postponed treatment because they could not get an appointment at a time that suited them, and 20% of Australians have had their condition become worse because of the delay in securing an appointment. 83% of Australians think an online appointment service is a good idea and that they would use it. These are just some of the worrying statistics affecting the health of Australians which are addressed by the 1stAvailable online appointment booking service desired by the majority of Australians.

3 months ago I was diagnosed with my 3rd melanoma. Thankfully, I am finding them early. Careful surgery and close monitoring is addressing my needs and survival. My surgeon would like me to see a skin specialist on a regular basis for monitoring purposes. Catching developing melanoma’s early is key. Yet getting an appointment earlier than 9 months is proving challenging but should not be. There are other specialists 1 hours’ drive from where I live but I have no easy way to access their schedules nor does my specialist. This is crazy in today’s world where services are booked and accessed online every day by billions of people around the world.

Together with Dr Rick Luu, at 1stavailable.com.au we are seeking to change all of this.

1stavailable.com.au seeks to change access to healthcare for all Australians. But the company needs your help. The help of all Australians to solve this issue. You can assist quite simply (and anonymously via our website) by encouraging your preferred healthcare provider to sign up to 1stavailable.com.au to make it easy for both you and Australians in your area to find and book healthcare appointments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not just for the common flu, but also life threatening disease diagnoses and treatment. This is important. Please visit the 1stavailable.com.au site now so that you can “nominate your preferred practice to join 1stAvailable”.

Klaus Bartosch – Executive Chairman, 1stAvailable


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