Responding to increasing demand from across the region the South West Hospital and Health Service (HHS) has opened a new public urology service at the Roma Hospital.
Urology is a surgical specialty which deals with urinary tract disorders involving the bladder, kidneys and adrenal glands as well as diseases involving the male reproductive organs such as the prostate.
Symptoms for urinary tract disease include a burning sensation when passing urine, increased urine frequency, incontinence, weak or strained urine flow, or pain and swelling around the genitals.
Roma Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr Deepak Doshi says people need to understand that these symptoms and conditions are not normal and need to be treated.
“All these problems can be very distressing for the patients and we want it clearly understood that many are curable and treatment can restore quality of life,” says Dr Doshi.
The first step is for the patient to arrange for a referral to the public urology service by either consulting their local GP or the South West HHS Continence Advisory Service run by Anna Ferrier in Roma and Amanda Simpson in Charleville.
To date monthly urological surgical procedures, conducted by the visiting urologist Dr Phil McDougall, have only been offered to private patients.
Dr Doshi says public patients either had to pay for their procedures or travel to Toowoomba or Brisbane for treatment.
“This is an exciting time for the hospital to be able to offer this service to public patients from right across the south west catchment area as prostate problems are very common complaint for older men in our region,” he says.
Roma Hospital Nurse Unit Manager Samantha Mawn says by reviewing the transfer rate of patients to Toowoomba they demonstrated the need for this service and secured funding to treat 14 public cases a month.
“At present there is no waiting list for urological surgical procedures and I would encouraged everyone to take advantage of this new service,” she says.
Dr Doshi said the South West HHS is committed to improving access to health services for the community.
“It is now up to the community to utilise these services so we will be able to keep them in the bush,” Dr Doshi says.