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Thursday, 09 March 2017 09:00

MEDIA STATEMENT

8 March 2017

A coalition of peak organisations with expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of people with breast cancer have agreed on a Statement of Principles aiming to promote best practice in imaging of breast cancer.

Australians diagnosed with breast cancer encounter many different diagnostic imaging services – mammography, diagnostic ultrasound, ultrasound-guided biopsy or fine needle aspiration, MRI and localising procedures.

The journey is often confusing, expensive and distressing due to the complexity of the current Medicare funding schedule and rules.

The Statement of Principles calls on the Australian Government to address four key issues that affect patients:

 Unfreeze and increase Medicare patient rebates

 Remove the multiple services rule

 Expand access to breast MRI

 Improve onsite radiologist supervision

"Medical imaging is a critical component of breast cancer care. It is essential that all patients can access these services," said Professor John Slavotinek, Dean of Faculty of Clinical Radiology.

"Patient rebates for diagnostic imaging have been frozen for 18 years resulting in increasing out of pocket costs for patients and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency," said Dr Christian Wriedt, President of the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association.

The coalition will be asking members of the Government, and other parties, to support the Statement of Principles and improve quality care for breast cancer patients.

For media enquiries please contact Neena Mairata on 02 9268 9771

View the Statement of Principles

Read the Press Release

 

 

Monday, 06 March 2017 11:38

Nominations for the 2017 AMA Public Health Awards are now open.

The Public Health Awards provides well-deserved recognition of the extraordinary contribution doctors and associated health groups make to health care and public health.  In 2017, the AMA is calling for nominations for awards in the following categories:

    • AMA Excellence in Healthcare Award
    • Woman in Medicine Award (nominator and nominee must both be AMA members)
    • Women's Health Award
    • Men's Health Award
    • Youth Health Award

All nominations must be received by the AMA by 19 April 2017.  A full description of the criteria for nominations is available on the AMA website at https://ama.com.au/article/ama-public-health-awards

Monday, 06 March 2017 10:45

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s health sector.

The initiative is providing women with grants to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.

The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally via WLA’s blended learning model. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and will be awarded based on a set of selection criteria being met.

Expressions of Interest
Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form prior to March 30, 2017: www.wla.edu.au/scholarships/health.html

Please contact Wafa Ahmed at the office of the National Industry Scholarship Program, WLA on (03) 9270 9030 or via wahmed@wla.edu.au for more details.

Friday, 03 March 2017 13:05

The Phase 2 Exam Preparation Course will be taking place at Rydges World Square, Sydney, NSW 12 – 13 May 2017. The course is designed for trainees as they approach exam readiness.

Registration Fee: $880.00 incl. GST per trainee.

Registration includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments throughout the duration of the course. A cocktail reception will be held on the Friday evening of the course and is included in the registration fee. To register for the course and for further information click here.

Friday, 03 March 2017 12:45

The Phase 1 Foundation Course and Exam Preparation Course will be taking place at Rydges World Square, Sydney, NSW 15 – 18 June 2017. The course is designed for Phase 1 trainees who are aiming to sit the Phase 1 exams.

Registration Fee: Foundation Course - $880.00 incl. GST per trainee Phase 1 Exam Preparation Course - $1,100.00 incl. GST per trainee

Registration includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and refreshments throughout the duration of the course. A cocktail reception will be held on the Saturday evening of the course and is included in the registration fee. To register for the course and for further information click here.

Friday, 24 February 2017 08:43

MEDIA RELEASE
24 February 2017

Cancer patients requiring brachytherapy, a special type of radiation therapy, stand to lose access to this cancer treatment if proposed changes from a government funding scheme are implemented.

Radiation oncologists attending the Australasian Brachytherapy Group (ABG) 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting have noted the changes to the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants (ROHPG) Scheme will reduce patient access to cancer treatment, specifically for brachytherapy.

Brachytherapy is effective for many cancers including gynaecological cancers and prostate cancer. Brachytherapy—which is an internal form of radiation therapy given directly into the cancerous tissues—kills the cancer cells and avoids the need for a major operation. In gynaecological cancers, it is also used after a hysterectomy to stop the cancer coming back.

61 year old James Bradford, an engineer in the NSW rural fire service, says brachytherapy saved his life.

"There is no doubt that brachytherapy was the best treatment for me. The benefits of brachytherapy are nothing short of fantastic, to date I have had absolutely no side effects since I first had treatment in April 2010. I was so lucky that I heard about all the treatment options for prostate cancer," said Mr Bradford.

James was diagnosed with intermediate risk prostate cancer in September 2009 after his PSA blood test result started rising. After seeing a surgeon and a radiation oncologist, James decided that he did not want to have surgery and opted for brachytherapy.

"When you are faced with a life-threatening health issue, the best gift for a patient is to have all the alternatives outlined to them. They should have the opportunity to be fully informed about the potential options, before deciding for themselves which treatment they prefer," said Mr Bradford.

Nearly 7 years after treatment with brachytherapy, it looks like James is cured of the cancer. He loves his job and continues working long hours with the fire-fighting teams extinguishing blazes in rural NSW resulting from the recent heatwave. He has absolutely no side effects from the brachytherapy and has maintained normal urinary, bowel and sexual function.

The ROHPG scheme has been instrumental in funding the many essential capital components of radiation therapy service in both the public and private sectors, by providing patient access to advanced treatment techniques, improving cancer cure rates and reducing side effects.

A critical component of cancer care, radiation therapy could benefit one in two cancer patients as long as they have access to it. It is a crucial part of treatment in around 40% of cancer cures. Radiation oncologists are particularly concerned that some of the proposed changes to the scheme involve the cessation of funding for items such as specialised brachytherapy equipment.

"The effectiveness of brachytherapy in the treatment of prostate cancer has been highlighted in numerous scientific studies. It has been proven as a treatment option which has one of the lowest rates of long-term side effects and very high rates of cancer control. Access to modern brachytherapy equipment is vital in ensuring optimal care for prostate cancer patients," said A/Prof Jeremy Millar, Director of Radiation Oncology, Alfred Health.

"In the absence of ROHPG support, it is highly unlikely that radiation therapy facilities will be able to invest in essential brachytherapy equipment given the relatively high maintenance costs to facilities. For many women with cervix and endometrial cancers this will have a devastating impact on the ability to deliver safe, up to date brachytherapy treatment which is the standard of care for many of these cancers around the world. In other words, equipment will certainly deteriorate or malfunction and will almost certainly lead to suboptimal care and poor outcomes for patients," said A/Prof Michael Jackson, Chair ABG.

"The impact of the proposed changes will be felt heavily in both the public and private sectors, but there is a real risk that vital yet complex services required to treat smaller numbers of patients say, with gynaecological cancers which are currently available in the private sector will close and increase the burden on the public sector in the respective states."

"This in turn will have adverse consequences and compromise patient access, particularly in non-metropolitan areas – ultimately, threatening access to modern radiation therapy equipment and resulting in a profound impact on the delivery of cancer care in Australia overall, especially considering the increasing cancer rates expected in the ageing population," said A/Prof Dion Forstner, Dean Faculty of Radiation Oncology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

For more information about the Australasian Brachytherapy Group please visit www.abg.org.au

For more about radiation therapy and brachytherapy in particular go to http://www.targetingcancer.com.au/radiation-therapy/brachytherapy/brachytherapy-for-prostate-cancer/

For media enquiries please contact Neena Mairata on 02 9268 9771

Read the press release  RANZCR ABG Brachytherapy Cuts Media Release

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:02

The Department of Health and Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges have launched a new initiative to provide rural and remote specialists in Australia with access to professional support and training opportunities. The program, titled Support for Rural Specialists in Australia (SRSA), supersedes the successful Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) Stream One program which distributed College Project Grants and Individual Specialist CPD Grants between 2010 and 2015.

SRSA is offering funding to rural and remote specialists in the form of Individual Specialist CPD grant. Applications for these grants are now open and close on 31 March 2017.

For the complete Funding Round 1 guidelines and application forms, go to www.ruralspecialist.org.au

Monday, 20 February 2017 10:43

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday 20 February 2017

The re-designed InsideRadiology website has won the Best in Class award in the Interactive Media Awards (IMA) in the medical category http://interactivemediaawards.com

Best in Class is the highest honour bestowed by the IMA. It is awarded to a medical-related digital platform displaying the very best in planning, execution and overall professionalism.

To win the award, sites are required to successfully pass the comprehensive judging process, achieving outstanding marks in the judging criteria – an achievement only a small number of sites in the IMA competition earn each year. Five areas are covered: design, content, feature functionality, usability, and standards compliance.

InsideRadiology provides consumers and health professionals with up-to-date information on diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology relevant to the Australian and New Zealand healthcare environments. The website was redesigned and relaunched at the RANZCR ASM in October 2016.

“I am delighted to see InsideRadiology receive the recognition it deserves as the go to website for consumers and health practitioners on imaging services. This is testament to the work of our multi-disciplinary editorial team,” said Prof John Slavotinek, Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Radiology, RANZCR.

With a fresh layout and look, the relaunched site contains all the information about medical imaging tests and procedures from the previous site but will also host additional College resources for health consumers and referring health professionals.

For more information go to http://www.insideradiology.com.au

 

Friday, 10 February 2017 15:14

The current RANZCR Strategy to 2017 articulates 11 College-wide Strategic Pillars. Pillar 7, Research, states that:

Clinical radiology and radiation oncology are recognised as professions characterised by a research ethic, and Australia, and New Zealand become more competitive internationally.

In line with the research Pillar, the College embarked on a process of developing a College wide research strategic plan that will outline research focus areas to guide the faculties of Clinical Radiology and Radiation Oncology to better target resources to ensure embedding a culture of research among the professions. In turn, this will reduce reliance on research outcomes generated elsewhere to guide local practice.

In the September 2016 edition of Inside News we reported that a research strategy forum had been held at the College office in Sydney. The membership and research committees from both faculties were well represented. Since then a draft research strategy document has been developed and has passed through two rounds of comments from the research forum participants.

RANZCR Research Strategic Plan

The strategy document is at a stage where it can benefit from input of the wider membership.

We are keen to get your feedback on the strategy. Please send your comments by 27 March 2017 to research@ranzcr.edu.au

If you have any questions please direct them to Professor Patricia Desmond- Chair Clinical Radiology Research Committee and Dr Keen-Hun Tai, Chair Radiation Oncology Research Committee.

C/o Chilandu Mukuka Manager, Research Co-ordination, Member Engagement and Services Unit Phone: +61 2 9268 9732 Fax: +61 2 9268 9799 Email: chilandu.mukuka@ranzcr.edu.au

 

Thursday, 02 February 2017 15:42

MEDIA STATEMENT

6 February 2017

Vale Ms Sally Crossing AM (1946-2016)

The Faculty of Radiation Oncology was saddened by the passing of Ms Sally Crossing AM on 28 December 2016, after a long and brave battle with cancer.

Sally was an inspiring and well respected advocate for people affected by cancer over many years following her own diagnosis with breast cancer in 1995. She founded the Breast Cancer Action Group New South Wales in 1997. This group compiled the Directory of Breast Cancer Treatment and Services NSW, which earned Sally the inaugural NSW Consumer Advocate Award.

In 2000, Sally led the establishment of the Cancer Voices movement in Australia, and became the chair of Cancer Voices NSW. Sally’s considerable advocacy efforts were recognised through her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005.

Sally was instrumental in many consumer advocacy activities, and contributed to numerous cancer organisations, including Cancer Council NSW, Consumers' Health Forum of Australia, the Board of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and the Faculty of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Through Cancer Voices, Sally facilitated the formation of the Australian Cancer Consumer Network in 2014, a group of 30 consumer related cancer organisations. In the same year she also accepted an Honorary Doctorate of Health Sciences from the University of Sydney for “extraordinary leadership and contributions to supporting those with cancer from diagnosis, though treatment, care support and survivorship, in both advocacy and research”.

Sally was the consumer member of the Faculty Council in 2015 and 2016. During this time, she demonstrated her wide knowledge of the radiation oncology sector, and her commitment to supporting the Faculty’s work – including advocating for the continuation of the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service, the implementation of the Radiation Oncology Practice Standards, and appropriate patient access to affordable radiation therapy services. Despite her declining health, Sally attended the College’s Annual Scientific Meeting in 2016, and made very valuable contributions to the Faculty Forum and some of the scientific sessions.

The Faculty is indebted to Sally for her tireless efforts and dedication. She taught us so much and will be sadly missed. However, her legacy will live on and will continue to influence consumer engagement for many years to come.

A memorial service was held at the University of Sydney to celebrate Sally’s life, on Saturday 4 February 2017, which also marked International World Cancer Day.

 

For media enquiries please contact Neena Mairata on 02 9268 9771