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7th December 2023

• Sunshine Coast Health launches new service for women with Mixed Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
• Women experiencing gynaecological issues can now see a physiotherapist at the start of their treatment journey, instead of waiting to be seen/referred by a gynaecologist.
• Early intervention means symptoms can be improved faster, resulting in fewer women needing a specialist appointment or subsequent surgical intervention.

Minister for Health, Mental Health, and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman announces a new Sunshine Coast Health service for women experiencing Mixed Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse.

The Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic service uses a tried and tested evidence-based approach, to fast track access to physiotherapy treatment, for patients experiencing common women’s health issues.

This means patients can start conservative management when they are first referred for the issue, rather than waiting to see a gynaecologist and subsequently being referred to a physio.

Early physiotherapy involvement is known to improve its effectiveness in managing these conditions, meaning some women will not require additional medical or surgical intervention.

Since introducing this new model of care, we have already seen improvements in both category 2 and 3 Gynaecology outpatient waitlists.

The Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic service has also already produced success stories, such as one woman who suffered urinary incontinence problems after extended bouts of coughing due to respiratory illnesses.

The patient expected to need surgery, but after seeing the physio under the Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic physio program and committing to the home exercises, her symptoms dramatically improved and she now no longer requires surgical intervention.

She said the service and its outcomes have been a major relief, and she has now regained freedom over her life.

The Palaszczuk Government is currently drafting Queensland’s first-ever Women and Girls’ Health Strategy to ensure Queensland’s health system continues to meet women-specific health needs.

Please attribute to Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Honourable Shannon Fentiman:
“We know that living in poor health can impacts someone’s ability to hold down a job, or care for a loved one, or both.

“This Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic service is a game changer for Sunshine Coast women suffering from these conditions with early physiotherapy treatment can relieve symptoms faster and potentially avoid further intervention.

“Innovative initiatives just like this clinic are happening right across Queensland Health to improve healthcare delivery and relieve pressures on the health system.

“Our healthcare staff are working hard around the clock to bring exceptional care to patients, but they are also always looking for ways to improve patient care and outcomes.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to meeting the health needs of all women and is why we’re developing Queensland’s first-ever Women and Girls Health Strategy.

Quotes attributable to Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt:
“We are so lucky on the Sunshine Coast to have such hard-working health staff who not only look after our community’s health needs, but who are constantly on the look out for new ways they can improve care.

“Our government is committed to supporting our health heroes and is why we’ve increased their operating budget by more than 131.3 percent since the LNP were last in power.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Nicklin Robert Skelton:
“Our Sunshine Coast Health heroes do an incredible job of looking after our community’s healthcare needs.

“Innovations like the new Women’s Physio Clinic ensures they can continue providing the latest medical treatments to ensure Sunshine Coast women receive the best care possible.”

Please attribute to Sunshine Coast Health Chief Executive Peter Gillies:
“Sunshine Coast Health is proud to be bringing new services on board that both expand and improve the efficiency of our current services.”

“This is an example of the initiatives our staff are driving, to make sure our patients are getting the best care possible.”

“The Gynaecology Physiotherapy Screening Clinic is not only beneficial for women with the specific conditions it’s designed to treat, but it also means patients with other concerns can get a gynaecology appointment sooner.”

Please attribute to Sunshine Coast Health Women’s and Families Service Allied Health Manager Angela Tully:
“We are already seeing significant results from this service, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients with Mixed Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse.”

“These conditions are fairly common in women, but likelihood generally increases with age or if symptoms are left untreated for too long.”

“Presenting symptoms can interfere with quality of life and cause significant distress to our patients’ both physically and emotionally, so prompt symptom management and improvement is very important to these women.”

“Patients are triaged into the program by a gynaecologist if they meet the criteria.”

“They are then provided with advice on how to manage their condition with patients actively encouraged to be involved in their ongoing management plan, which may include further physiotherapy, investigations or follow up with the Gynaecologist.”

“Once the treating team and patients are satisfied with the outcome, they will be discharged from the service.”

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