Clinical trials are underway for therapies to delay or prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, but Australia’s healthcare system does not have the capacity to move these treatments into clinical use.
This is the assessment of RAND Australia, which made similar findings in its studies of the healthcare systems of eight other countries including Canada and the US.
The study flags that by their estimates, nearly nine million Australians may need to be screened for mild cognitive impairment, with 150,000 eventually being referred for treatment.
Although there may be some bottlenecks regarding diagnostic tools and infusion centres, Australia’s capacity in these areas is better than other countries studied.
The main bottleneck is the availability of specialists to conduct screening, particularly in rural and regional Australia. The researchers indicated that expanding on the care provided by mobile medical services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Heart of Australia may help to increase availability of screening services.
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Source: Medical Xpress