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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Stroke patients missing out on ‘revolutionary’ treatment: Organisations unite to address key barriers to equity of access to care

Health Industry Hub | March 28, 2023 |

MedTech News: Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in Australia. Every year it kills more women than breast cancer, and more men than prostate cancer. Overall, the burden of disease cost of stroke is estimated to be around $6.2 billion in direct financial costs, and a further $26 billion in lost wellbeing and premature mortality.

A/Prof Laetitia de Villiers, Interventional Neuroradiologist, Gold Coast University Hospital and Maurice Ben-Mayor, President of Stryker South Pacific joined Health Industry Hub for the launch of a new White Paper: Access to Mechanical Thrombectomy in Australia that shines a light on the current state of patient access to a ‘revolutionary’ treatment and the key barriers to equity of access that must be addressed.

Mechanical thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure with advances seen in the past decade. Despite an update in stroke management clinical guidelines for Australia and New Zealand in May 2022, less than 7% of ischaemic stroke patients in Australia receive this procedure in the public healthcare system. Equally shocking is that despite Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) recommendation to the Prostheses List Advisory Committee (PLAC) in 2017, this procedure is still not included on the Prostheses List (PL) for privately insured patients.

Laetitia and Maurice discussed the key barriers to equity of access to care and how they should be addressed across state and federal governments, and private health insurers. They also highlighted the role of the white paper as a lever for national strategy development and relevant funding.

The white paper is a collaborative effort from several organisations including Styker, Australian and New Zealand Society of Neuroradiology (ANZSNR), Neurological Intervention & Imaging Service of WA (NIISwa), Royal Flying Doctor Service, Medtronic, Acute Stroke Nurses Education Network (ASNEN), Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association (AHHA), Australian Stroke Academy (ASA), Australian Stroke Alliance and Australian College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP).

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