Palaszczuk Govt To Deliver 50,000 Additional Endoscopy Procedures

Palaszczuk Govt To Deliver 50,000 Additional Endoscopy Procedures

Queensland Minister for Health Cameron Dick

$160 Million Endoscopy Blitz To Deliver 50,000 Additional Procedures

Victor P Taffa

Palaszczuk Government will deliver 50,000 additional endoscopy procedures over the next 4 years to ensure Queensland public hospitals keep pace with growing demand for the procedure.

Health and Ambulance Services Minister Cameron Dick said the number of endoscopies being performed at public hospitals had risen by 80 % over the past 5 years and showed no signs of slowing down.

“This increasing demand is being driven by an ageing population, expansion of the national bowel cancer screening program and a shift from the private sector to public hospitals.” Mr. Dick said.

“That’s why the State Government is providing $160 Million over the next 4 years to implement an Endoscopy Action Plan to ensure we continue to cut hospital waiting lists.”

“Number of people waiting longer than clinically recommended for an endoscopy will be significantly reduced no matter where they live in Queensland.”

Mr. Dick said the Endoscopy Action Plan will work alongside Queensland Health’s recent campaign urging Queenslanders to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening campaign.

‘Make Number 2 Your Number 1 Priority’ campaign, featuring actor Shane Jacobsen, encourages Queenslanders to use the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program test.

“For those people whose test then results in a further examination being required, our Endoscopy Action Plan will be able to deliver the extra endoscopy/colonoscopies in a timely fashion.” Mr. Dick said.

Mr. Dick said the Queensland Government had also contributed $5 Million for the RBWH gastroenterology upgrade, including a new state-of-the-art endoscopy ‘blue room’, which began operating on July 1.

“We must continue to improve access to services and continue the fight against bowel cancer.”

RBWH Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Dr. Mark Appleyard said department expansion would allow the hospital to engage in further opportunities for training and education.

“‘Blue room’ has been built to provide a new theatre for additional and complex procedures.” Dr. Appleyard said.

“Increased capacity will allow us to perform 4,000 extra endoscopy procedures in Metro North each year.”

Statewide Gastroenterology Network Chair Dr. Tony Rahman said the action plan was a well-designed and thought out plan that demonstrated collaboration and partnership to improve access to endoscopy services for all Queenslanders.

“Supporting the National Bowel Cancer Program and its implementation with appropriate access to colonoscopy services will help to reduce the incidence of bowel cancer for Queenslanders.” Dr. Rahman said.

Endoscopy Action Plan has 5 key actions designed to:

Expand services

Frontline services will be expanded to deliver 50,000 more procedures over 4 years.

Increase access

Training to equip rural generalists will be expanded to increase access to local services in regional and rural areas.

Promote equity

Invest in clinical leaders to coordinate the consistent application of clinical guidelines across the state.

Focus on outcomes

Information systems will be enhanced to deliver better quality information to ensure good, high quality healthcare is provided at the right time.

Improve the system

Beyond improving the timelines and equity of access, we will innovate in key areas of the patient journey to ensure the long term sustainability of services.

Mr. Dick said Australia had one of the highest incident rates of bowel cancer in the world with about one in 23 Australians developing bowel cancer in their lifetime.

“Action Plan builds on the great work that has been done through the Specialist Outpatients Strategy to ensure that Queenslanders do not wait too long to receive care at any stage, whether that be an outpatients appointment, an endoscopy or surgery.”