The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University (JCU) has today welcomed the release of the Final Report of the independent review into black lung disease by the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham.
The Director of AITHM, Professor Louis Schofield said the Final Report, and its findings, present an opportunity to further investigate black lung disease, understand the current shortcomings of assessment processes, and provide world-leading research to develop adequate healthcare guidelines to address these findings and improve health care delivery for the community.
“The findings from this independent review offer the opportunity to review existing practices, and respond with robust research and develop consistent diagnosis and treatment recommendations,” said Professor Schofield.
“In particular, AITHM is well poised to address findings in relation to surveillance, has capacity to provide evidence to support best practice to ensure correct and consistent diagnosis, and is already established with resources invested into occupational health and safety research at Mackay and indeed throughout rural and remote Queensland.
With existing governance structures in place, and strong partnerships between researchers and clinicians, AITHM is ready to build on its existing research base in the area of occupational health and safety, based at Mackay.
“With current investment in collaboration with the JCU Research Centre in the Mackay Hospital and Health Service, and as a partner of the newly formed Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, AITHM is ready to further expand this important and existing research base.
“This research aligns with AITHM’s existing remit regarding the embedding of research into occupational health and safety practices.
“Leveraging on existing collaborations will ensure researchers and clinicians can address the re-emergence of black lung disease and develop better assessment and diagnosis processes, better treatments and better outcomes for those affected by black lung disease across Queensland and Australia,” said Professor Schofield.
Professor Louis Schofield
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