Accelerated silicosis assessment pathway

An assessment pathway has been developed for health professionals to help assess and diagnose accelerated silicosis.

Accelerated silicosis is a serious disease which may affect people who work with engineered stone.

The Ministry of Health, ACC and Worksafe NZ have collaborated on developing an assessment pathway for accelerated silicosis.

This will ensure a timely, consistent and comprehensive process to identify and assess people who are at risk of contracting accelerated silicosis.

Assessment pathway

See Accelerated Silicosis Assessment Pathway (pdf, 660 KB)

This process has been jointly developed by expert clinicians actively engaged in diagnosis and clinical management of people at risk of the disease.

It outlines a process for people potentially exposed to high concentrations of respirable crystalline silica in a New Zealand workplace to be assessed for risk of accelerated silicosis. 

It includes steps which involve GP and other health professionals, as well as ACC assessment to inform decisions around claims.

The health check is initiated by a worker visiting a medical practitioner (typically a GP). If an ACC claim is accepted, it is managed through the ACC work-related cover unit who will work with the GP to make referrals and fund any further assessment and investigations that may be required.

If a person is eligible to receive public health care in New Zealand, but their exposure has occurred overseas and/or they are not covered by ACC, their GP will consider a referral to a respiratory physician for further assessment.

While the journey through assessment will be different for each patient, the pathway sets out a general process for assessing each case.

Guidance for assessment pathway

This guidance provides more information about each of the stages of the assessment pathway and ACC processes to support consistent provision of health care services around New Zealand.

Silica Exposure HealthPathway

A Silica Exposure HealthPathway has been developed to enable general practice teams, including general practitioners and practice nurses, to access the information most needed at the point of care.

Registered users can access the new Silica Exposure HealthPathway on the Canterbury Community HealthPathways site. It is also available to all other New Zealand HealthPathways sites as unlocalised content.

More information

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