Some medical procedures suspended in Qld amid global supply crisis

Queensland health has confirmed it will have to reschedule some non-urgent elective procedures due to a critical world-wide shortage of a vital medical supply.

COVID-19 lockdowns in China have lead to a global shortage of iodinated contrast solutions, which are required for a range of medical imaging like CT scans and angiography, which supports diagnosis and ongoing treatment for a range of conditions, including narrowed or blocked arteries.

A major suppliers’ production facility is location in Shanghai, which has been locked down for some time amid a rise in COVID cases.


Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Services Executive Director Kirstine Sketcher-Baker said the supply of the products Omnipaque (iohexol) and Visipaque (iodixanol) is not expected to be resolved until end of June.

“However, it may take longer than this given the volatility of COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai,” she said.

“Along with the Federal Government, we are also investigating other sourcing options and strategies to conserve stocks and seek other alternatives until this issue is resolved.”

Ms Sketcher-Baker said the Department of Health is working with its hospitals to determine what impact the shortage is having on clinical services.

“For the time being, we will need to reschedule some non-urgent elective procedures that require medical imaging until we can replenish stocks,” she said.

“This is unfortunate but unavoidable, as this product is essential for a number of procedures.

“We are hopeful of quickly resolving this issue with the supplier.”

Affected patients will be contacted by their treating hospitals to reschedule their procedures.