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7 health checks you can book online today

Book your appointments without leaving the house

A woman checking her phone as she sits in a chair with a laptop on her lap
A woman checking her phone as she sits in a chair with a laptop on her lap

The old saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ can be well and good in some circumstances, such as how many germs are on your toothbrush, opens in a new tab. But, when it comes to your health ignorance is anything but bliss. Regular health checks are a great way to stay in tune with your body and detect early signs of any serious issues.

We’ve put together seven health checks – that not only could help keep you at your healthiest, but can also all be booked online (yep, no need to leave the couch). 

Have you had your free personalised health check? Start it today., opens in a new tab  

Cervical Screening Test

Did you know that the traditional pap smear has been replaced by a new cervical screening test?, opens in a new tab The process of this test is very similar to the pap test, but it’s more accurate. Instead of detecting cell changes in the cervix, the new test detects HPV which is what will lead to these cell changes. No more excuses, make time for this test to ensure you’re on top of anything serious going on down there.

You are now able conduct the test independently if you prefer, using a high vaginal swab rather than a cervical swab. If you're dealing with abnormal bleeding, have your doctor collect the sample. 

What kind of doctor performs a cervical screening test?

A GP (General Practitioner), opens in a new tab or healthcare professionals at a Family Planning Clinic, Women's Health Centres or Sexual Health Clinics. You can also see a nurse trained in cervical screening, a gynaecologist or other specialist or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner or Worker in some states and territories.

What happens during a cervical screening test?

During this procedure, you'll be asked to undress below the waist and lie on your back with your knees apart. Don't worry, you'll be provided with a sheet for comfort – feel free to ask for one if needed. 

The doctor or nurse will gently use a speculum to open your vagina, allowing them to collect a small sample from your cervix with a swab. It may feel a bit strange, but it shouldn't be painful. If it is, let your doctor or nurse know right away. 

If you prefer, you can discuss the option of self-collection with your doctor, nurse, or health worker. They'll guide you on the process, and you can choose to collect the sample privately or with their assistance. Self-collection involves inserting a swab into your vagina and rotating it for 10 – 30 seconds. It may feel a bit uncomfortable, but it shouldn't hurt. 

Who should a cervical screening test?

If you have a cervix and have been sexually active, you should get a cervical screening test.

How often should I get a cervical screening test?

A pap smear was recommended every two years; however, the new screening test is only required every five years unless directed by your doctor.

You can register for the National Cancer Screening Register to get a reminder letter when you’re due for your cervical screening. 

Diabetes check

According to Diabetes Australia, opens in a new tab, type 2 diabetes can be avoided in 58% of cases within the high-risk population. Understanding how things like weight, ethnicity or other related illnesses have an influence on your risk factor for type 2 diabetes, opens in a new tab is important to understand whether to get tested. Take the diabetes risk calculator, opens in a new tab here if you’re unsure of your risk category.

What kind of doctor performs a diabetes test?

A GP will provide you with a referral for a blood test.

What happens during a diabetes test?

Testing for diabetes typically involves a blood glucose test. A blood sample is taken from your vein and sent to a lab for analysis. There are various types of tests. Sometimes, you may need to fast overnight, while other times, no preparation is required. 

Who should get a diabetes test?

Anyone in the high-risk population or anyone showing symptoms. According to Health Direct, opens in a new tab, you may be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes if you: 

  • are over 55 years of age 

  • are over 45 years and have high blood pressure and/or are living with overweight or obesity 

  • have a family member with type 2 diabetes 

  • are from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background 

  • were born in Asia 

  • are not physically active 

How often should you get a diabetes check?

If symptoms are noticed or every 3 years. If you’re in the high-risk population, more frequently.

Melanoma or skin checks

Did you know that Australia and New Zealand have the world’s highest incidence rate for melanomas?, opens in a new tab It’s important to check your skin for new spots or noticeable changes in freckles or moles. Along with a polished slip, slop, slap routine, identifying these changes early through regular skin checks can save your life.

Keen to find out your risk of skin cancer? Take the personalised nib skin self-assessment, opens in a new tab. Alternatively, if you've got a spot, mole or freckle you want to check out, it might be time to download the nib SkinVision, opens in a new tab app? With nib SkinVision, opens in a new tab, you can check your skin for signs of skin cancer anytime, anywhere – it’s as easy as downloading the app and taking a photo. You’ll receive personalised advice in minutes after uploading the photo.

What kind of doctor performs a skin check?

A GP or dermatologist

What happens during a skin check?

During a skin check doctor will ask you to undress to your undergarments and either lie or sit on the examination couch. They normally use a specialised tool called Dermlite Lumio that magnifies and illuminates your skin for a thorough examination. If any spots need closer inspection, they may use a dermatoscope for an even more detailed view.

Your doctor or dermatologist will discuss any suspicious findings with you. If needed, they may recommend a biopsy (removing a small part for examination) or excision (complete removal). For less suspicious spots, your doctor might suggest just keeping an eye on it.

Who should get a skin check?

Everyone.

How often should you I get a skin check?

Self-check regularly; if changes are spotted visit one of the above health professionals.

Looking for a dermatologist? Get the most out of your cover and see a recognised specialist to reduce out of pocket costs. Find a provider near you, opens in a new tab.

Breast cancer check

Also referred to as a ‘mammogram’, breast screening can identify even the tiniest of cancers, giving you the best chance at treating it, moving on and living your life. According to the Cancer Council, opens in a new tab, regular mammograms can reduce breast cancer death risk by 25% in the 50-69 age group.

Females over 40 should be especially diligent, opens in a new tab when looking for any changes in breast feel or shape, but men should also take it seriously. Approximately one in 500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer, opens in a new tab in their lifetime, which is around 200 men diagnosed every year. 

What kind of health professional performs a breast cancer check?

A specialist at one of Australia’s 750+ screening locations, opens in a new tab. BreastScreen Australia makes screenings accessible through mobile clinics. Book your free breast exam by contacting BreastScreen in your state or territory.

What happens during a mammogram?

In a mammogram each breast is gently pressed between two x-ray plates, allowing for clear pictures. It's a quick process, usually lasting about 20 seconds. The healthcare specialist will check both breasts, taking two x-ray pictures of each.

Who should get a mammogram?

Cisgender females are encouraged to undergo breast screening every two years, starting from the age of 50.

If you've been using gender-affirming hormones for five or more years, Breast Screen NSW, opens in a new tab suggests that you book in for a breast screening check every two years from the age of 50 to 74.

If you've had gender-affirming chest surgery (partial or double mastectomy), it's recommended to consult your doctor regarding your specific breast cancer risk factors.

However if you experience symptoms of breast cancer, opens in a new tab at any time, speak with your GP as soon as you can.

How often should I get a mammogram?

Every two years, or if symptoms are noticed.

Bone Density Scan

Osteoporosis, or ‘brittle bones’, often goes unnoticed until a break or fracture occurs because symptoms may be slow and not recognised. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, opens in a new tab, an estimated 924,000 Australians have osteoporosis, representing 3.8% of the population. If you have reason to think you fall into that group, it might be time to chat with your GP and get a bone density test.

What kind of health professional performs a bone density scan?

Any GP can provide a referral for a radiologist.

What happens during a bone density scan?

The scan takes around 10-15 minutes. You’ll be asked to lie on a comfortable table, stay clothed, and let the DEXA machine do its work as it scans your hip and spine. Your results will be sent to your doctor. 

Who should get a bone density scan?

Anyone over 50; however, it’s more common in women so an earlier test can be requested if needed.

How often should I get a bone density scan?

If any symptoms are showing or if there is a family history of brittle bones.

Eye check

Not only can testing your eyes help prevent diseases leading to blindness, but it can also make sure you're seeing the world as clearly as possible (so no more squinting to read the fine print!).

What kind of health professional performs an eye check?

An optometrist or ophthalmologist. You can visit nib First Choice Optical to help you to search for local optometrists; it's our community of specially selected health providers, who have promised they will deliver quality care and value for money.1

What happens during an eye test?

During your eye test, your optometrist will inquire about your general health and family history. They’ll conduct different eye tests to assess your vision, such as shining a light into your eyes to test how your pupils react to light. 

Who should an eye test?

Everyone should have regular eye tests, however if you’ve experienced a change in your vision, are over 40 or have a family or eye disease you may be at higher risk and require more frequent eye exams.

How often should I get my eyes checked?

Every two years.

Oral health check-ups and dental check-ups

Hate visiting the dentist? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, regular dental check-ups can save you from needing serious dental work in the future, so it’s definitely worth your while.

What kind of health professional performs an oral check-up?

The dentist – and if you have dental cover with your Extras, you can visit a participating dental practitioner within the First Choice network and get 100% back on No Gap preventative dental check-ups, opens in a new tab^. Need a treatment that's not included in the No Gap offer? You can still visit any First Choice network dental practitioner to benefit from agreed rates and make your dental Extras limits go further.

What happens during a dental check-up?

A dental check-up may involve checking for tooth decay, bleeding gums, and assessing your bite. Often your dentist will offer fluoride treatment and polishing. You'll also receive personalized advice on brushing, flossing, and maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Who should get dental check-up?

Everyone.

How should I go to the dentist?

Every six months.

Take advantage of our First Choice Network

Want to make sure you’re not paying more than you have to for your dentist and optometrist appointments? The nib First Choice network should be your first port of call to keep your out-of-pocket expenses low. It’s our community of specially-selected health providers who have agreed to provide nib members with quality healthcare and great customer service at an affordable price.

You can choose to see the dentist or optical provider of your choice, but by choosing an nib First Choice provider, it simply means you could pay less. Search the nib First Choice network now to find a provider.

1nib First Choice providers offer competitive fees for many commonly claimed treatments and consultations. These fees are reviewed at least annually and are subject to change. Always check Find a Provider, opens in a new tab or the nib App before booking to see if your provider participates or simply ask your provider if they are part of nib’s network at the time of booking. Providers occasionally leave the nib First Choice network so it’s important to check before booking to avoid disappointment. Annual limits, waiting periods & T&Cs apply.  Subject to waiting periods, annual limits and other conditions.

The health checks and information contained in this article are provided as general information only, and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatment. For personalised medical advice, always see your qualified health professional.

Fact checked by Dr Hamish Black January 2024

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