Australian Clinical Labs establishes National Centre of Excellence for Tuberculosis Testing in Geelong
Australian Clinical Labs (Clinical Labs) today announced the establishment of a National Centre of Excellence for Tuberculosis (TB) testing in Geelong. Samples from Clinical Labs’ network will now be sent to Geelong for testing.
Australian Clinical Labs Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Ms Melinda McGrath, said that Geelong was an ideal location for the new Tuberculosis Testing Centre of Excellence.
“Geelong is a thriving regional medical community with first class facilities. This will be the first of a number of centres of excellence as we reshape our vision for Geelong and deliver medical excellence to the region’s hospitals, practitioners and patients. Hospitals and practitioners can expect to receive a faster diagnosis enabling earlier treatment of infected patients thereby reducing the risk of cross infection,” Ms McGrath said.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2011 there were more than 8 million cases of Tuberculosis worldwide. While Australia has one of the lowest rates of TB, there were more than 1,000 cases recorded in Australia that year.*
“The Tuberculosis Centre of Excellence will test samples sent from all over Australia which will be performed by local specialist scientific and medical staff employed by Clinical Labs.”
The Tuberculosis Testing Centre of Excellence complements Clinical Labs’ existing BCG vaccination clinic for the prevention of the disease. The service operates in Geelong in conjunction with the Victorian Department of Health and is one of only three vaccination services in Victoria.
“The Tuberculosis Testing Centre of Excellence will also enable Clinical Labs to continue providing a service to assist in the early diagnosis of the related Mycrobacterium ulcerans which has been an ongoing issue for patients on the Bellarine Peninsula.”
Clinical Labs is the primary pathology service provider to Barwon Health, St John of God Hospital, Geelong Private Hospital and Geelong.
* The Australian Government Department of Health. Tuberculosis in Australia: bacteriologically-confirmed cases and drug resistance, 2011: A report of the Australian Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory Network. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi3804n.htm