Prostate Screen Australia

Breastscreen Queensland faces decentralisation and dismantlement

Over the weekend, The Courier Mail reported that the publicly funded breast cancer screening service, Breastscreen Queensland would be dismantled with screening to become the responsibility of 16 local health networks. Click here to read to story.

Breastscreen Queensland is a public health program that offers free breast cancer screening and follow-up assessment services for women aged 50 to 69 years.

After outcry from women and men alike across the state, Dr Jeanette Young (Chief Health Officer) was forced to reassure women that the service would remain the same however there would some ‘tinkering’ to the structure of the central office. Dr Young reported that the central office would remain the centre for policy setting, monitoring services and setting targets.

Concerns arise however that with any decentralisation of a screening service people can ‘get lost’ in the system, resulting in misdiagnosis and or delayed diagnosis. Each health service district will have their own and potential varying level of commitment to the screening program and there is a risk without a centralised service that guidelines and methods for follow up may deviate from the ideal.

Prostate Screen Australia is men’s answer to the Breastscreen Queensland service. PSQ however is privately owned as receives no government funding in the provision of its services. Prostate Screen Australia’s services are run centrally with a single call centre, single data base and stringent guidelines for testing, follow up and recall.