26 September 2023

Parliament called to put out the pain!

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A Parliamentary inquiry into the availability and access of medication for the sufferers of ‘Urinary Tract Infection’ has been proposed by a current Member of Parliament.

The MP, Jayne Stinson said 50 per cent of South Australian women can expect to suffer a painful urinary tract infection (UTI) at some time in their lives which was enough to make it a common women’s health complaint.

She said one in 20 men would also be afflicted.

According to the MP for Badcoe, each year tens of thousands of women experience the unexpected, sharp pain of a UTI often at inconvenient times or in uncomfortable situations.

“It’s unreasonable for women to be regularly forced to endure this pain when we could allow trained pharmacists to provide swift diagnosis and treatment in many cases,” Ms Stinson said.

“There are also many women and men who can’t access treatment – or can’t access it quickly enough – who end up in our emergency departments with avoidable complications,” she said.

She said the distress of UTI is commonly caused by bacteria in the urethra, bladder or kidneys and is often difficult to predict or prevent.

She said the infection caused intense pain during urination, the constant sensation of needing to urinate and discomfort throughout the period of infection.

“If left untreated, or if treatment is delayed, the condition can result in admission to hospital for kidney infection or other complications,” Ms Stinson said.

“Currently sufferers must book an appointment with a GP to obtain a script for medication,” she said.

“For many people, this can mean days of pain and discomfort before securing an appointment and effective treatment. For those in country and remote areas the wait may be much longer.”

Ms Stinson said Queensland recently allowed specially-trained pharmacists to assess patients and provide UTI medication following a successful pilot program.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, welcomed the inquiry saying that access to UTI medications must be timely and safe.

“I welcome this inquiry which will carefully examine the evidence from interstate models and how we can best improve access here in South Australia,” Mr Picton said.

If established, the House of Assembly Select Committee will comprise five members and report to Parliament in 2023.

The next motion in Parliament is on Thursday 1 December or later.

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