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Preventative health program helps improve the lives of locals

An innovative program that helps people better manage their weight, to improve degenerative health conditions will soon be available to nib health funds (nib) customers across Australia.

This health management program has been developed through a partnership between nib and Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (Sigma), owners of the national pharmacy brands Amcal, Amcal Max and Guardian. It utilises Sigma's existing 'Be Good To Yourself' program, with some additions for chronic disease management.

The rollout of the program follows a successful pilot conducted last year that focused on weight loss for people living with joint pain. Of the surveyed participants that completed the program, 97% saw an improvement in their overall health, 88% found their level of joint pain had improved, while 67% lost at least five kilograms.

nib's Group Executive Manager Benefits and Provider Relations, Dr Justin Vaughan, said that many of the pilot program participants not only saw improvements in their condition, but also in other areas of their health, including diabetes, blood pressure and asthma.

"The pilot clearly demonstrated that preventative health measures can have a positive impact on degenerative conditions, and those who commit to changing their lifestyle can see real benefits," Mr Vaughan said.

Sigma's Chief Operating Officer, Gary Dunne, said the program not only provides a tailored exercise and nutrition program for participants but also a support network to keep them motivated and focused on their goals, which leads to stronger results.

"Sigma is constantly striving for new and innovative ways to improve the health services available to our customers in our Amcal, Amcal Max and Guardian pharmacies. Since completing the pilot program, we have seen a number of participants reduce their level of medication and improve their level of joint pain, as well as their overall health and wellbeing," he said.

Intended participants will be provided with 12 weekly consultations with a Wellness Coach as well as a free visit to an Exercise Physiologist to set specific exercise plans and telephone support from nib’s Dietitians.

Customers wishing to take part in the program, are encouraged to contact their local participating pharmacy to discuss their eligibility, or call nib's Dietitians on 1800 339 219.

Approximately 20 Amcal, Amcal Max and Guardian pharmacies will be participating in the 'Be Good To Yourself' programs in locations in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

For a full list of participating pharmacies please see Be Good To Yourself and improve your health.