The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) fears that patients are not receiving essential and necessary imaging during the COVID-19 lockdown. Community radiology practices across New Zealand are reporting that a concerning amount of essential and necessary patient treatments and critical diagnostic procedures are being deferred. RANZCR President Dr Lance Lawler said: “If patients don’t get the imaging they need to diagnose and treat acute and chronic disease during this period, it could have dire outcomes for their health and wellbeing. Radiology services are critical to patient management, both in terms of diagnosis, as well monitoring disease and associated clinical management.
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New Zealand is focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the District Health Boards (DHB) have been focused on preparing for the care of large numbers of COVID-19 patients. This has meant deferring care deemed not urgent.New Zealand is focused on stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the District Health Boards (DHB) have been focused on preparing for the care of large numbers of COVID-19 patients.
This has meant deferring care deemed not urgent. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiology (RANZCR) understands that decisions to defer radiology services might be more frequent than is appropriate for some patients. Deferring imaging may be delaying critical diagnosis and treatment with significant implications for patient outcomes. Moreover, it exacerbates already significant waiting lists once the social distancing restrictions are lifted. RANZCR requests that all available imaging services be used to maximise available care for patients during each Level of COVID-19 Alert.
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