Here are 3 simple ways to improve your understanding of your health.

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Image Better Health Channel logo

Do you sometimes leave your medical appointments feeling, well, confused?

If so you're not alone.

Many people in Australia find it difficult to understand information from their doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider, which is a problem because it means you might miss an appointment, you may even be taking your medicine the wrong way or make a mistake when filling in an important form.

We're not talking about reading or writing difficulties here, this is about your ability to understand and use information to make choices about your health.

This is important. Your health depends on it.

Luckily there are some easy ways to improve your understanding of your health.

This means you'll make better choices for you and your family's health.

First - remember to ask questions.

It may help to write a list of questions to take with you to your appointments.

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it too.

Ask your health care provider to give you information to take home with you and read later.

Second - listen carefully to your health care provider.

Repeat back what they've told you to make sure you understand.

Finally - you can always take someone you trust to your appointment like a family member or friend for extra support.

You can even ask for an interpreter in your language to help you communicate with your health care provider.

If you're after more health information here are some good places to start.

The Better Health web site ( which provides easy to understand information about medical conditions, treatment and healthy living.

The Quit website ( which provides answers to common questions about quitting smoking and Quit Victoria services.

And the NPS Medicinewise ( web site for reliable information on medicines, health conditions, treatments and medical tests.

Remember your health depends on your ability to understand and use information.

So don't be left in the dark.

Ask, listen and take someone you trust to make smarter choices about your health.

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Image: Medicare Local Inner West Sydney logo.

Image: State Government Victoria Department of Health and Human Services logo.

Image: Medicare Local Easter Sydney logo

The Department of Health and Human Services gratefully acknowledges the work of IWSML and its partners in developing the original video.

For more information:

Better Health:

Quit Victoria:

NPS MedicineWise:

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)

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Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel

Last updated: October 2015

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health & Human Services shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.