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April 2019 | Published by RCPA

Issue #090

Welcome to the April issue of ePathWay

ePathway is an e-magazine designed for anyone interested in their health and wellbeing and the integral role pathology plays in the diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases.

This month’s issue of ePathway looks at the following:

  • Call to end freeze on Medicare rebates for pathology testing
  • Increasing testing for Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)
  • Pathology, it’s in the blood: Dr Julie Lokan and Dr Anand Murugasu
  • Diagnosing and treating Haemophilia

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has called on the Government to end the freeze on Medicare rebates for pathology testing, which has been in place for over 20 years. This follows the announcement from the Government that the current indexation freeze on all GP services on the MBS will be lifted from 1 July 2019, along with various diagnostic imaging rebates from 1 July 2020. RCPA President, Associate Professor Bruce Latham expresses his concerns on this ongoing issue.

The RCPA has submitted an application to MSAC in relation to genetic testing for Familial Hypercholestolemia (FH) which is currently being reviewed. We speak to Associate Professor David Sullivan to learn more about this common genetic disorder, currently affecting at least 65,000 people in Australia. He explains that increased genetic testing, as well as treating those affected by FH with routine treatments is a very cost effective strategy, almost to the point of saving money for the healthcare system.

In this month’s Pathology, It’s in the blood feature, we speak to Doctors Julie Lokan and Anand Murugasu about what it’s like to be a married couple working in the same profession. Julia and Anand met during their training to be Anatomical Pathologists in August 2004 when Anand concocted a ruse to call and get in touch. They and are now married with three children and currently work as Anatomical Pathologists at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Austin Health.

To tie in with World Haemophilia Day which took place on 17 April, we spoke to Associate Professor Chris Barnes to discuss this potentially life-threatening, genetic bleeding disorder. A/Prof Barnes provides an interesting insight into diagnosing and treating haemophilia, including a look at the challenges involved which are being addressed through a number of new treatments.

Remember to follow us on Facebook (@TheRoyalCollegeofPathologistsofAustralasia), Twitter (@PathologyRCPA) or on Instagram (@the_rcpa). CEO, Dr Debra Graves can be followed on Twitter too (@DebraJGraves).

Call to end freeze on Medicare rebates for pathology testing

Call to end freeze on Medicare rebates for pathology testing

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has called on the Government to end the freeze on Medicare rebates for pathology testing, which has been in place for over 20 years. This follows the announcement from the Government that the current indexation freeze on all GP services on the MBS will be lifted from 1 July 2019, along with various diagnostic imaging rebates from 1 July 2020.

 

 

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Increasing Testing for Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Increasing Testing for Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a common genetic disorder in which the ability to remove low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from the blood is severely reduced. This results in high levels of LDL cholesterol, which can form plaques known as ‘atheroma’ on the arteries of the cardiovascular system, blocking the flow of blood and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. We spoke to Associate Professor David Sullivan to discuss the need for increased testing.

 

 

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Pathology, it’s in the blood: Dr Julie Lokan and Dr Anand Murugasu

Pathology, it’s in the blood: Dr Julie Lokan and Dr Anand Murugasu
Doctors Julie Lokan and Anand Murugasu met during their training to be Anatomical Pathologists in August 2004. In 2005, Anand made the leap and moved to Melbourne where Julie was already living. They are now married with three children and live together in Melbourne where they work as anatomical pathologists, Anand at Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Julie at Austin Health.

 

 

 

 

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Diagnosing and treating Haemophilia

Diagnosing and treating Haemophilia
This year, World Haemophilia Day took place on 17 April, a worldwide initiative to increase awareness of haemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders. We took the opportunity to speak with Associate Professor Chris Barnes, consultant haematologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Precinct in Melbourne, to discuss how haemophilia is diagnosed and treated.

 

 

 

 

 

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