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Media Release : Elective Surgery Waiting List Reduction Plan
Posted 25th January 2008

The Board of Directors of the Australian Institute of Radiography (AIR) welcomes the decision reached on 14th January 2008 by the Treasurers and Health Ministers in Brisbane regarding the Elective Surgery Waiting List Reduction Plan. 

The President of the AIR, Mr. Chris Whennan today said 'the blitz on the elective surgery waiting lists has a greater impact on hospital services than just medical and nursing staff.  Every patient who undergoes surgery requires pre surgery medical imaging examination, in some cases this extends to radiology services being employed during the surgery and then follow up medical imaging examination, this means an additional increase in medical imaging services provided within the public hospital services.'

Medical imaging services within the public hospital system throughout Australia are already reaching the limits of service provision without further placing stress upon them due to this initiative. 

The AIR Board of Directors ask that those administering the funds for this initiative fully understand the pressure that will be placed on hospital services other than medical and nursing and allow an appropriate allocation of the funds to assist with the increased requirements and staffing to service those requirements. 

The President said 'just as there will need to be an increase in medical and nursing staff to be able to reduce the elective surgery waiting lists, there will need to be an increase in staffing in the support areas of the system as well.  Medical imaging is an intrinsic part of this support system.' 

He urged that the Federal Government consider, for diagnostic radiographers, a similar program as that released on 15th January 2008 to bring nurses back into the workforce. Unless there is an increase in diagnostic radiographers in the public health system many departments will find it difficult to cope with the increased workload brought about by the waiting list reduction initiative and radiographers will 'burn out' and leave the system. "This would not be in the best interest of the patients." he said. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT

MR CHRIS WHENNAN -  AIR PRESIDENT
(0417) 912 080 

24th January 2008