Charlestown gets a heart-felt reminder about their health

3 December, 2018 – Charlestown residents are being encouraged to give their hearts much needed attention before finalising their Christmas shopping and heading off on end-of-year holidays, with HCF offering eligible members a free heart health assessment.

For the first time in two years HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, will be bringing the Victor Chang Health Check booth to its Charlestown branch from the 12-14 December. Over 200 HCF members took advantage of the complementary health initiative in 2016, where 40% of participants were encouraged to seek further advice from their doctors about elevated heart health indicators.

The on-the-spot health check provides HCF members with extras cover convenient reports on their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It’s also a chance for HCF to contribute to the decline of heart disease prevalence in the country.

Heart disease continues to be a major health priority in Australia. Every 12 minutes an Australian dies from cardiovascular disease. In New South Wales, over 368,000 people are affected by heart disease.ii The Lake Macquarie region currently has a rate of heart-related hospital admissions of 49 per 10,000 people.iii

Melissa Bishop, HCF Charlestown Customer Service Manager, says this is a timely opportunity for HCF members to think about their own health needs before the busy holiday season.

“It is easy to neglect your health needs around the Christmas and New Year period so this is a chance for our members to take 10 minutes out of their day to get an update on their heart disease indicators,” said Ms Bishop.

“In 2016 over half of our members who participated in the program did not know their blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar reading, which is concerning as many presented with elevated levels. We want to be able to provide our members with a convenient way to monitor their heart disease risk factors and provide them with the information they need to have in-depth discussions with their GP.”

HCF has been partnering with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute since 2011 to offer members quick tests to check heart health risk factors. Over 65,000 Australians have been tested at the Health Check Booths across Australia.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is a not-for-profit dedicated to finding cures for cardiovascular disease.

Tips for a healthy heart

According to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, there are some simple ways that Charlestown residents can maintain a healthy heart:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and choose lean meats and poultry.
  • Cut down on salt.
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.
  • Curb your alcohol intake. No more than one or two standard alcoholic drinks per day is recommended.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your risk factors for heart disease.
  • See a doctor if you have a family history or concerns about your heart health.


*Issued on behalf of HCF by Palin Communications. Media enquiries to:

About HCF

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.5 million members with health and life insurance, community care, travel and pet insurance. On average over the last five years, HCF has paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits than the industry average. With over 35,000 specialists participating in its Medical Gap Cover Scheme and approximately 10,000 providers participating in its 100% back More for You programs, HCF gives members access to quality health care with no gaps or minimal costs compared to non-participating providers. To empower members to put their health first, HCF also offers a range of health and lifestyle services including its My Health Guardian health management program, mobile Victor Chang Health Checks and My Global Specialist second opinion service. HCF’s national network of retail outlets and Australian-based call centres have earned multi-award winning status. HCF members also have access to low cost, high quality services at HCF Dental Centres and HCF Eyecare Centres. Having contributed $50 million to support the health services research funded by the HCF Research Foundation, HCF is devoted to investing in the future of Australia’s health. To learn more about HCF go to

i Data sourced from the Heart Foundation. Heart disease in Australia. Access data via

ii Data sourced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey 2014-2015, New South Wales. Access data via

iii Data sourced from the Heart Foundation. Australian Heart Maps. Access data via