Radiographic and ultrasonic practice in the Torres Cape

K Alexander1, T Hunt2, A Hellmuth3

1Medical Imaging Department Weipa Hospital, 407 John Evans Drive, Weipa QLD, 4874, Kayt.Alexander@health.qld.gov.au
2Medical Imaging Department, Cooktown Hospital, 48 Hope Street, Cooktown QLD 4895, Tristan.Hunt@health.qld.gov.au
3Medical Imaging Department Weipa Hospital, 407 John Evans Drive, Weipa QLD, 4874, Allan.Hellmuth@health.qld.gov.au

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) is the most northerly of Queensland’s Hospital and Health Services and covers over 158,000km across 13 local government areas. TCHHS is one of Australia’s largest providers of health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The TCHHS provides health care to a resident population of more than 25,000 people of which 63.7% identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

An Indigenous-responsive health care system is one which includes and responds to community needs. Community participation, engagement, and ultimately community control are central elements for improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. The TCCHS needs to change its Model of Care because ultrasound and x-ray services are not readily available throughout the remote communities and demand for these services are increasing. I would outline some service development strategies that could be implemented to improve ultrasound and radiography access throughout TCHHS. These strategies are as follows:

  • Strategy 1: Radiographer’s introduction to Sonography in the event to increase ultrasound coverage throughout the TCHHS.
  • Strategy 2: The development of a senior position to oversee the management, education, accreditation and support of the X-ray Operators in order to meet future criteria/accreditation.
  • Strategy 3: Supply rural and remote communities such as Aurukun, with transport to Weipa Hospital to have X-rays and Ultrasounds performed instead of flying them out to Cairns.

Biography

Kayt Alexander the sole Radiographer at Torres Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) in Weipa. She received a bachelor’s degree in Medical Imaging and is now studying a Postgraduate Medical Sonography at the University of South Australia. Her current position in the Torres Cape is to oversee licensed operators and perform x-rays for the communities. She is interested in health services available in rural areas particularly in aboriginal communities.