BreastScreen SA has introduced a pop-up clinic in Victor Harbor to ensure women in the area continue to have timely access to the important health check. And the clinic is booking out fast with more than 200 booked for the first week of screening.
BreastScreen SA Program Director, Niamh Wade said a mammography unit is temporarily installed at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service.
"BreastScreen SA provides free screening mammograms to South Australian women aged 50 to 74, with the aim of diagnosing breast cancer at an early stage, before it can be felt," Ms Wade said.
"It is important that women have a breast screen every two years to check for subtle breast tissue changes, so we've partnered with the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network to create a dedicated pop-up clinic for the women of Victor Harbor and surrounds.
"This will ensure women living in the area, who require a mammogram, do not need to wait for an appointment."
At the end of March, BreastScreen SA made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend its breast screening program due to COVID-19, which meant all three of its mobile screening units were taken off the road.
The program resumed a month later, however strict physical distancing measures have meant appointment times are longer and as a result, the mobile screening units have to spend more time at each location.
"These changes have meant our visit to Victor Harbor has been delayed so we have introduced a popup clinic as a proactive measure to ensure women in the area have access to screening when they need it," Ms Wade said.
"The mobile screening units will continue to attend their other scheduled locations and will return to Victor Harbor in 2022."
Acting Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Southern Fleurieu Health Service Amy Lee said it was extremely important for women in the region to take up this opportunity.
"To be able to have the pop-up clinic here has enabled the mobile van to go to other regional areas," Amy said.
"I encourage all local women to book and be screened. It is an example of how this health service, located in Victor Harbor, can welcome something so important like the BreastScreen pop-up clinic into our community.
"Breast cancer is still one of the number one killers of women and screenings such as this can pick up the cancer early and then you can get the necessary treatment."
Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Graham said the establishment of a BreastScreen SA pop-up clinic is an exciting time for the region.
"We are extremely grateful to have a dedicated breast screening pop-up clinic arrive at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service which will give the local community continued access to this important service," Ms Graham said.
"We know that regular breast screening appointments can have a significant impact on positive patient outcomes and we look forward to working with BreastScreen SA to ensure women can attend appointments locally."
The pop-up clinic will be available at the Southern Fleurieu Health Service in Victor Harbor from mid-July to December 2020.
Women living in the area are encouraged to call BreastScreen SA on 13 20 50 to make a free appointment.
For more information, including a full list of locations for the mobile screening units, go to www.breastscreensa.sa.gov.au