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Medibank gets people talking about health

By Joss Davidge

We have instant, mobile access to an extraordinary amount of information these days. 

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People are more inclined than ever to turn to the internet for advice, recommendations and even medical diagnosis.

According to Medibank, an Australian health insurance company, many are misdiagnosing themselves or turning solely to online support rather than seeking qualified medical advice.

So to raise awareness about its 24/7 Health Advice Line, Medibank launched ‘Talk to an expert week’, an open door opportunity for people to get in touch with registered medical professionals. The integrated campaign was supported by PR, social and experiential activities, including a purple phone box that people could use to get 24 hour health advice.

The video makes a very interesting point about people being too embarrassed to speak up. To bypass this, medical organisations need be approachable; to position symptoms as something we want to investigate properly rather than hide from.  We have had first hand experience of the impact of starting face to face conversations about health as over the past year we’ve been working to support a national drive from the NHS that encourages people to “be clear on cancer”. 

We have been out on the street, talking to the public about the symptoms of various types of cancer.  What’s interesting is just how receptive the general public has been to this honest, straight talking face-to-face campaign.  We think that often it’s taking the first step to facing medical problems that is the biggest barrier.  So, as Medicare has done, providing people with a friendly, unthreatening access point can be a great way to encourage people to start addressing their concerns and build trust.

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