Health check wait

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Health check wait

Women in the South East are having to wait more than twice as long to receive their mammogram results through South Australia’s statewide breast screening unit due to workforce shortages and an increased demand for the service.

The BreastScreen SA mobile screening unit travels to regional areas in South Australia every two years to provide free screening mammograms (breast X-rays) to women aged over 40 with the aim of detecting breast cancer at an early stage, often before it can be felt.

While BreastScreen SA said they aim to provide results in two weeks, in some instances it has blown out to a 28 day turnaround and screenings for April were 22% higher than they were in April 2019.

The BreastScreen SA van is currently in Millicent where it will remain until July 3 following on from stints in Penola and Mount Gambier.

BreastScreen SA clinical director Associate Professor Michelle Reintals said the service has been experiencing an increase in demand since COVID-19 safe measures were eased and excellent new initiatives were introduced including online bookings and breast density reporting.

“This increase in demand is a very positive sign for South Australia as it is so important that women undertake regular screening for breast cancer,” she said.

“As this demand has been relatively recent, owing to staffing, it has been taking us longer than usual to provide results, and in some instances, this is taking 28 days.

“Our quality of service is held in the highest of regard, so we do not wish to rush our process.

“Rather, we are currently training additional radiologists to a high standard to assist in this additional workload.

“We anticipate that within the coming months, we will once again be able to provide our clients results within our usual 14-day timeline.

“We always place our client’s quality of care first and foremost and we thank them for their patience and understanding.”

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