Funding shortfall for endometriosis scans

A NEW study shows that it takes sonographers 64 per cent more time to scan comprehensively for endometriosis compared to routine pelvic ultrasounds – time that private providers are not subsidised for in Medicare ultrasound rebates.

The University of South Australia study argued that while $58 million pledged in the Federal Budget to establish specialised endometriosis clinics across the country is welcome news for approximately 800,000 Australians who suffer from the condition, there is a caveat.

Patients accessing ultrasounds – typically in private clinics – for gynaecological problems are often not offered more comprehensive endometriosis scans or must meet substantial cost gaps if they undergo a more thorough examination as opposed to a routine pelvic scan.

Study lead, specialist sonographer and UniSA Masters by Research candidate, Alison Deslandes, says the new funding announced in the Budget for specialised endometriosis clinics is sorely needed.

“Given that 11 per cent of female-born Australians suffer from this painful condition that can take more than six years to diagnose, the funding is critical,” she says.

The Federal Government funding will support patients with severe endometriosis and other fertility issues to access a new Medicare-funded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.