Media release

International Day of Radiology

The AMA acknowledges and supports the important work and dedication of all Australian radiologists on International Day of Radiology.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that diagnostic imaging is a vital element of best practice patient care.

“Diagnostic imaging provides crucial information to enable medical practitioners to assess and diagnose a patient’s condition and to determine the best approach for treatment,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Early diagnosis provides cost effective treatment and significantly improves patient outcomes.

“Once a treatment plan is implemented, many medical conditions require follow-up imaging to determine when treatment has successfully alleviated the condition - for example, the healing of a fracture or positive outcomes from cancer treatment.

“Radiology also plays a critical role in guiding medical practitioners when performing minimally invasive procedures, which reduce the length of hospital stay and improve patient recovery and outcomes.

“Diagnostic imaging services provided by treating doctors - such as specialist obstetricians, gynaecologists and cardiologists - ensures patients receive timely, convenient, comprehensive and integrated care.

“Diagnostic imaging is integral to cost-effective treatment as well as to ongoing patient management.

“Properly-funded diagnostic imaging services are critical to the delivery of timely, clinically appropriate and cost effective health care for Australians. 

“Radiologists supervise support staff such as sonographers, radiographers and nurses, not just to ensure quality and accuracy, but also to provide a pivotal role in guiding clinical care and best outcomes for patients.  Interpretation of images by radiologists is an integral part of any diagnostic imaging service.

“Radiologists also maintain long-standing relationships with treating doctors to ensure that high quality medical care, informed by expert medical opinion, is provided to patients.

“Radiologists and treating doctors regularly confer on the interpretation of results of diagnostic tests ordered by the treating doctor.  This interaction ensures optimal patient care and facilitates quality diagnostic referrals.

“Our radiologists must be supported to continue the important work they do for the community.

“Medicare rebates should be available for the right radiology investigation for the right patient at the right time,” Dr Hambleton said.

8 November 2012

CONTACT:         John Flannery                       02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                        Kirsty Waterford                   02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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