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Task force to advise on easing medical restrictions

A HIGH-level task force has been set up to advise the Palaszczuk Government about when some cancer screening services can recommence, but that will depend on whether the state's stockpile of personal protective equipment is considered adequate amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

BreastScreen Queensland temporarily suspended routine mammograms about two weeks ago and colonoscopies to check for bowel cancer have been limited to those considered urgent under elective surgery restrictions imposed to protect health workers and to conserve precious stocks of masks, gowns, gloves and face shields.

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: David Clark
Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Health Minister Steven Miles. Photo: David Clark

Health Minister Steven Miles said Queensland's success in flattening the coronavirus curve, which had kept people out of hospital, meant the state had scope to recommence some elective procedures, such as cancer screening.

"Wherever possible, wherever safe, our hospitals will work hard to deliver those services," he said. "We have people working on a plan to do that right now.

"The primary limiting factor on that is ensuring that we maintain sufficient stockpiles of protective equipment. That's the balance. As we get more confident in our supply of protective equipment, the more we can expand elective surgeries."

When that's likely to be remains unclear.

In the meantime, Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said while routine screening had been temporarily suspended until further notice, Queenslanders should continue to report any concerns or changes to their doctor.

Originally published as Task force to advise on easing medical restrictions


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