Port Macquarie residents encouraged to keep a close eye on heart health

Sydney, 11 October, 2018 - Port Macquarie is being encouraged to keep a closer eye on its heart health as new data from HCF reveals less than one-third of local members are aware of critical heart health indicators. 

After conducting heart health checks on 160 Port Macquarie-based members in 2017, the not-for-profit health fund found over two-thirds did not know their blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels. All three indicators are closely linked with heart disease.  

To combat low awareness, HCF will bring the Victor Chang Health Check booths to Port Macquarie to provide its members with blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checks in a quick 10 minute session.   

The on-the-spot health checks will be available to HCF members with extras cover at HCF’s Port Macquarie branch, from the 17-19 October.   

Heart disease continues to be a major health priority in Australia. Every 12 minutes an Australian dies from cardiovascular disease.i In New South Wales, over 368,000 people are affected by heart disease.ii  

HCF Port Macquarie Customer Service Manager, Kerrie Conklin, says the Victor Chang Health Check Booth plays a role in making the local community more aware of their heart health, with the ultimate goal to contribute to the decline of heart disease prevalence in the area.   

“Between 2015 and 2017 more than 520 people in Port Macquarie were hospitalised with heart disease, which is approximately 25% above the NSW state averageiii. By having regular heart check-ups people can be more aware of their heart disease risk factors and work with their GP to reduce them,” said Ms Conklin.

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, 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 Port Macquarie 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:

  • Karina Durham
    (02) 9412 2255
    M: 0402 307 056
    E: karina@palin.com.au
  • Hamish Walsh
    (02) 9412 2255
    M: 0490 778 725
    E: hamish@palin.com.au






    HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting people since 1932, covers around 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 healthcare 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 Heart 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. 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 hcf.com.au/about-us


    [i] Data sourced from the Heart Foundation. Heart disease in Australia. Access data via https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/about-us/what-wedo/heart-disease-in-australia

    [ii] Data sourced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Health Survey 2014-2015, New South Wales. Access data via  http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.001~201415~Main%20Features~New%20South%20Wales~10002 

    [iii] Data sourced from Health Stats NSW. Coronary heart disease hospitalisations by age. Port Macquarie LGA. Access data via http://www.healthstats.nsw.gov.au/Indicator/cvd_chdhos/cvd_chdhos_lga_trend