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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 328 asked in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 9 May 2018

      328. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:
      (1) What is the total weekly cost of flying several different sonographer contractors from Perth to the Kalgoorlie regional hospital?
      (2) Why does the Kalgoorlie regional hospital administration use this fragmented service model rather than employ the locally based sonographer service?
      (3) Do requests by doctors for nuclear medicine examinations need to be approved by the finance department before they can be offered to patients?
      (4) If the finance department does not provide authorisation to proceed, how does the patient get the examination that the doctor has deemed necessary?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(1) Four sonographers on average are flown from Perth each week, at a total cost of $3 830.
      (2) Two sonography positions were advertised by the WA Country Health Service in December 2017, with no applicants. There is a single locally based sonographer who is used two days a week at Kalgoorlie hospital. The sonographer is also employed at the private clinic and a doctor's surgery. The sonographer has been offered a position on staff at Kalgoorlie hospital but has declined.
      (3) No. Nuclear medicine examinations and treatment are provided by a private provider in Kalgoorlie and not by the WA Country Health Service.
      (4) Patients requiring nuclear medicine examinations and treatment are provided with those services as an outpatient at a private clinic, with a referral from the patient's doctor or specialist.