Consumers and carers

Pandemic guidance for consumers

Choosing Wisely and asking questions about medical treatments and tests is still important during a pandemic. With the extra strain on public health resources, GPs and hospitals, health professionals have had to work together to plan for the worst outcomes as well as do their normal work. Multidisciplinary teams have adopted an evidence-based, patient-centred approach, and have adapted to new technologies in health. The health system has changed rapidly in response to the threat. We have developed specific pandemic guidance to help you find reliable information about the pandemic, while still seeking out necessary healthcare. This is based on current evidence and will be updated as the evidence changes.

Choosing Wisely Australia pandemic guidance messages

Five messages for consumers to provide guidance about your healthcare during a pandemic.

1. DO keep talking to your doctor and other healthcare providers about how you can look after your own health.

  • Ring ahead to confirm whether to attend in person or if there is a telehealth option
  • Let your doctor and other healthcare providers know if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Supporting resources


2. DO remember it’s OK to ask questions.

Supporting resources
Remember to use the Choosing Wisely 5 Questions to start a conversation about what matters to you


3. DO ask your doctor and other health workers if a test, treatment or procedure is necessary and if it can wait.

  • Some tests, treatments or procedures are urgent and should not be put off, even in a pandemic. Others may be able to wait. Make sure you ask which category your test or treatment falls into

    Supporting resources
    Remember to use the Choosing Wisely 5 Questions to start a conversation about what matters to you


    4. DO keep a safe distance between yourself and others and DO wash your hands many times a day.


    Supporting resources

    5. DO look for safe facts that come from experts on your health problems and COVID-19.

    Make sure your information about potential therapies is reliable and evidence-based, like these NPS MedicineWise resources:

        Supporting resources

        More information

        The COVID-19 information hub by NPS MedicineWise, facilitator of Choosing Wisely Australia, has information about medicines, tests and treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. This information hub is regularly updated with articles and links to other reliable information for consumers and for health professionals.

        5 Questions

        5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.

        Find out more