Significant win for pathology patients

Published Monday 23 May 2016

If you were among the 600,000 Australians across the country who signed the Don’t Kill Bulk Bill petition, you will be pleased to know that the Federal Government has made a policy announcement ensuring affordable access to world class quality pathology services for all Australians.

As Newsport pointed out last month, pathology is an essential medical service in the healthcare system. Seventy per cent of medical decisions and 100 per cent of cancer diagnosis rely on pathology tests.

“As a result of this announcement, Pathology Australia says Thank You to you as one of the nearly 600,000 Australians across the country who signed the Don’t Kill Bulk Bill petition, assisting us to have their voices heard, giving surety and sustainability to quality pathology services for all Australians into the future. The petition is now closed,” said Liesel Wett, CEO, Pathology Australia.

“Working collaboratively with the Coalition when in government, the pathology sector has now ensured a deferment of the changes to the bulk billing incentive.

“This commitment from the Coalition will ensure affordable access to pathology services continues in the best interests of patients, the pathology sector and the government.

“It will also see the diversity of pathology providers maintained, which also benefits patients. It means that you as a consumer of pathology services will be able to continue to choose which service you attend,” said Ms Wett.

<link opinion-pathology-bulk-billing-cuts-aff.13668.0.html>OPINION: Pathology bulk billing cuts affect us all

Pathology testing helps doctors make accurate decisions about the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. It also helps people with diseases find out how their treatment is working and to avoid suffering unnecessary side-effects from inappropriate treatments.

Pathology testing also plays an essential part in screening and disease prevention programs which promote the overall health and wellbeing of our community.

These programs range from testing new born babies for genetic conditions which can be treated successfully, if identified early, to the detection of precancerous conditions, such as Pap smear screening, which, in Australia, has resulted in the reduction of the incidence of cancer of the cervix by more than 50 per cent.