Webinar: Access to Acute Stroke Treatment in Australia

Venue: Online
Date: 19 April 2023 12:00pm to 19 April 2023 01:00pm

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in Australia, with a $6.2 billion direct financial cost and a further $26 billion in lost wellbeing and premature death. The majority of strokes (around 80 – 85 %) are caused by ischaemic strokes, where a vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot. Outcomes for patients suffering from this type of stroke are often poor, particularly for people in rural communities who have double the chance of a lifelong disability.

Innovative treatments are available for ischaemic stroke, including mechanical thrombectomy (also commonly referred to as endovascular clot retrieval) which is a relatively new procedure pioneered by Australian surgeons and approved for funding by Medicare in 2017. It involves the physical removal of the clot from the brain by specialists, using minimally invasive surgical techniques and equipment under image guidance. For several years now, it has been considered a gold-standard treatment for large vessel ischaemic strokes, however only a fraction of eligible patients are receiving access to treatment.

This webinar will discuss the state of access to acute stroke treatment in Australia, some of the challenges in getting patients to the right plan in time for treatment, and solutions put forward in the recently released White Paper on Access to Mechanical Thrombectomy, launched in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading health organisations. By improving patient access to this lifesaving treatment, we can help to significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients and help save lives.

The webinar will be followed by a panel discussion with experts and advocates in the field, including:

Prof Mark Parsons - Neurologist, UNSW, University of Melbourne​​​​​​, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Newcastle 
Professor Parsons is an internationally recognised leader in Stroke Medicine and a highly sought-after speaker, instructor and mentor in all aspects of clinical Neuroscience. He has been appointed as Professor of Medicine and Neurology at UNSW South Western Sydney Clinical School and remains as Professor in Neurology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne. Most recently, he was Director of the Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is also a Conjoint Professor of Neurology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Newcastle and a Visiting Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai.

A/Prof Laetitia de Villiers - Interventional Neuroradiologist, Gold Coast University Hospital
A/Prof Laetitia de Villiers is a Consultant Interventional Neuroradiologist at the Gold Coast University Hospital, one of Australia’s most advanced sites in Australia for the endovascular treatment of life-threatening brain aneurysms and acute ischaemic stroke. She has served on numerous local and global committees and advisory boards, including with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, and holds academic affiliations with Bond University and Griffith University.

Marina Chiovetti - Patient and Advocate
Marina Chiovetti is a leader in the digital transformation space, and was treated with mechanical thrombectomy after experiencing a catastrophic ischaemic stroke. Marina is now a passionate patient advocate for survivors of stroke and wider access to stroke treatment. 

Dr Zoe Schofield - Head of Programs and Translational Research, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia