BreastScreen to stay

Chief radiographer Abigail Harress-Blaas and radiographer Bernadette Gallagher at BreastScreen Rockhampton.
Chief radiographer Abigail Harress-Blaas and radiographer Bernadette Gallagher at BreastScreen Rockhampton.

AS CONCERNS remain following media reports suggesting the dismantling of BreastScreen Queensland services, the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland has sought clarification from the health minister.

RDAQ president Adam Coltzau spoke directly with Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg who said BreastScreen Queensland had been doing a fantastic job and reassured Dr Coltzau no woman would be worse off under the LNP Government's changes.

Dr Coltzau said RDAQ would continue to monitor the government's progress in decentralising control of health service administration.

"Queensland needs this to allow decision makers and skilled clinicians at the local level to do their best for their communities under the Newman Government's Health and Hospital Service Board model," Dr Coltzau said.

"RDAQ expects that many services, including breast screening, will actually be increased in regional, rural and remote Queensland if the Health and Hospital Service boards deliver on Mr Springborg's promise to reform health care in the bush."

Dr Coltzau said Queenslanders could expect radical change to some health care services and should always demand better access to treatment.

"We believe health outcomes, including for breast cancer, should be just as good for rural women as for those who live in the cities," Dr Coltzau said.

"We appreciate the health care budget is finite, but the pockets of country families are not bottomless either.

"RDAQ continues to advocate the best way forward for better health care in the bush is through essential service delivery under local control."

Emerald Cancer Council expressed concern about rumoured "cost-cutting" to BreastScreen Queensland.

"It's not going to be good because in the city if you go to hospitals there is a bulk amount of hospitals, but in the country women in the Central Highlands have to travel to Emerald," a Cancer Council member, who did not wish to be named,said.

"Everything is early detection, so if people don't get that they won't get the best care possible."

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