Tassie service takes top spot

BREASTSCREEN Tasmania has hit the national spotlight with the nation’s accreditation body revealing that Tasmanian women are receiving the highest quality life-saving breast screening services in Australia.

BreastScreen Tasmania was recently presented with the top level of accreditation – Accredited with Commendation – which has never before been achieved by any statewide service in Australia.

The national accreditation committee congratulated BreastScreen Tasmania on its outstanding performance across all national standards.

Areas of particular note contributing to this success was the service’s vigorous, integrated governance and management framework, and strong client focus.

The service also won praise for its quality improvement and strong community partnerships that gave women in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas ready access to screening.

“This is a really significant award for Tasmania to receive and indeed for our health system, which aims always to provide the highest quality service to Tasmanians,” Attorney General Elise Archer said

“We know that breast cancer is the second highest killer of women in Australia and so it is vitally important that Tasmanian women receive the highest quality service.

“A national award is significant for a small state like Tasmania, and it points to the fact that we have made the service available to so many Tasmanians.

“As well as the bases in Hobart and Launceston, there are two mobile units that visit 32 locations around the state, including the King and Flinders islands.

“So, this covers a significant area of rural and regional Tasmania.”

Kim Roberts, screening recruitment and cancer prevention officer with BreastScreen Tasmania, said she was diagnosed in 2013 via Westbury in Tasmania.

“The service I received was amazing, right from the assessment process,” she said.

“It made me realise how important breast screening is and looking after yourself.

“Once you have a life-changing experience, it does make you step back and assess things.

“Early detection is so important – you might feel well, and you could be walking around with a cancer that you don’t even know.

“And that’s why screening mammograms are so important.”

This accreditation comes as a timely reminder to Tasmanian women aged between 40 and 74 that they should be undertaking regular breast screening mammograms, and that no referral is needed to access the life-saving services through BreastScreen Tasmania.

More than 34,000 Tasmanian women attend BreastScreen Tasmania for screenings every year.

However, more than 50,000 women do not have their recommended breast cancer screening mammogram every two years.

All Tasmanian women aged over 40 who haven’t been screened for more than two years are encouraged to phone 13 20 50 to make an appointment for the free breast screening services now.

A screening mammogram is a simple 10-minute test that can find cancer in its early stages when it can be successfully treated.

Importantly, this ensures timely diagnosis of breast cancers and can save lives.

BreastScreen Tasmania has clinics in Hobart and Launceston, and two mobile clinics that visit rural and regional centres.

Caption: From left, Attorney General and Liberal Member for Clark Elise Archer, BreastScreen Tasmania director population screening and cancer prevention Gail Ward and BreastScreen Australia Quality Management Committee national chair Dr Julie Thompson.

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