Mt Isa doctors lead national project to benefit Indigenous patients

Emergency medicine doctors from Mt Isa Hospital in North West Queensland, are leading a national research project to improve the diagnosis and treatment of infections caused by the bacteria Group A Streptococcal (GAS) and Community acquired (CA) Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)—an antibiotic resistant form of ‘golden staph’.

Infections caused by these bacteria are particularly prevalent in Indigenous communities and the rates of incidence are high in North West Queensland.

The research team secured an EMF grant to run the project and have worked closely with EMF’s Research Support Network (RSN) Manager, Tegwen Howell, to expand the trial to include research groups in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria.

Mount Isa Hospital Emergency Department Director, Associate Professor Ulrich Orda said the RSN played a significant role in assisting Mt Isa to submit its first research grant application to EMF.

“The EMF RSN Manager was available any time  to provide feedback and guidance, often working additional out of office hours to accommodate the limited research time I had available,” said Associate Professor Orda.

“We as a rural and remote community have limited opportunities to establish networks that might enable researchers to expand and collaborate. A rural and remote and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focus are very important to provide results and solutions for these remote communities that will differ from those for urban settings.”

Queensland Health provided the funding from the EMF grant awarded to this project. The Northern Queensland Primary Health Network has also contributed a further $70,000 to fund this project.

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