Call for patients not to delay imaging tests

Call for patients not to delay imaging tests

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease off in most states, clinical radiologists are encouraging patients to attend their required imaging procedures and to not delay treatment.

Dr Lance Lawler, President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) said that radiology clinics and departments are working hard to safeguard patients and ensure they can access radiology services.

“While we have seen changes to COVID-19 restrictions across Australia, some people may still be concerned about attending an imaging test or procedure and attending their health appointments more broadly. This is especially true as we see localised outbreaks in different regions.”

“We want people to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe clinical environment. Delaying an imaging test or procedure could have serious health consequences – particularly if someone is suspected of having a serious disease or having ultrasounds for a pregnancy-related condition.” said Dr Lawler.

Centres across Australia and New Zealand have strict procedures and guidelines in place to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

The College is currently providing radiologists with the latest advice on screening, infection control and appropriate use of PPE to reduce COVID-19 transmission, based on the latest COVID-19 clinical evidence.

“We want patients to feel reassured about the infection control measures put in place to keep people safe and healthy. Radiologists have adapted practice to limit patient contact, use multi-disciplinary teams and provide alternate methods of accessing specialist advice and treatment, including the use of telehealth where appropriate,” said Dr Lawler.

If patients are having an interventional procedure such as a biopsy or injection, information can be posted or emailed to patients before their appointment using telehealth services. This helps minimise the amount of contact people have with their practitioner.

RANZCR is producing a range of resources to encourage patients to continue with their treatment, including videos and social media assets.