Statement of Principles: Breast Cancer Imaging In Australia
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.
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