Mercy Neurology in Melbourne is the best in Australia to diagnose MS patients, a neurologist told a Senate inquiry on Tuesday.
Key points:Dr Paul Stirling said Mercy’s neurologists had been the most effective in the country in diagnosing MS patientsDr Stirling is speaking at the Senate inquiry into the Government’s MS strategyThe inquiry heard Mercy has the best track record for MS diagnosis in Australia, with 83% of patients being diagnosed in the early stages.
“When a patient comes in, we can diagnose the patient with MS with a good prognosis,” Dr Stirling told the Senate committee.
“If we have been able to get a good diagnosis, then we can refer them to a neurology specialist, a neurosurgeon or a radiologist.”
Dr Stirl was speaking in response to a question from Senator Linda Burney, who said the Government had not taken a position on the issue of the best neurologists for diagnosing patients with MS.
“I’m not aware of any expert opinion that the doctors in Mercy have the best record for diagnostics, but certainly it’s the case that they are in the top three,” Dr Burney said.
The committee heard from Mercy neurologist Dr Richard Williams, who told the inquiry that in 2015-16, the Mercy team had seen the highest number of MS patients (16,723) and the highest proportion of MS cases (6.8 per cent).
“The rate of diagnosis for MS has gone down significantly in the past few years,” Dr Williams said.
“It is a lot of work, but we are doing it at the right pace and we are very focused on making sure that we have the right tools in place to diagnose this disease.”
Dr Williams said the rate of referral to the neurology unit in the hospital had dropped from 30.4% in 2016-17 to 20.6% in 2017-18.
“We are now making sure we are providing the best quality of care for our patients in our neurology department, and that includes getting our specialists up to speed on how to best diagnose and treat patients with symptoms of MS,” Dr William said.
Dr Williams also said that Mercy had seen a significant reduction in the number of cases of MS within the first month of diagnosis, with fewer than 10 cases a month in 2018-19.
“Over the last three years, we have seen an absolute dramatic reduction in cases of this disease in Mercthem,” Dr Wiltshire said.
Topics:health,diseases-and-disorders,health-policy,health,healthcare-facilities,medical-research,healthpolicy,mental-health,melbourne-3000,vic,auFirst posted May 04, 2019 09:00:51Contact Anna Nelms