Otago patients are being offered routine MRI scans in
Invercargill because waiting lists are too long at Dunedin
Hospital, a report to a Southern District Health Board
Patients at Dunedin Hospital are waiting 28 weeks for a
The target is 16 weeks.
Southland Hospital scans have previously been offered to
Balclutha and Central Otago patients, but this was recently
extended to all Otago patients.
In Otago, 242 MRI patients were also on an "unscheduled
wait-list", although an unidentified number of them had been
treated in the private sector in an outsourcing arrangement.
Outsourcing and Southland Hospital were also planned to
target routine CT scan waiting lists. At Dunedin, patients
waited 20 weeks.
A target of 12 weeks was met at Southland Hospital.
Waiting times for routine ultrasound at Dunedin was high
(22-26 weeks). This was being handled through a machinery
upgrade, and the loan of an additional machine.
The report revealed Dunedin Hospital was not always meeting
targets for urgent, acute, or critical CT and ultrasound
The board plans to review radiology services, both public and
private, across Otago and Southland, to better manage its
resources. However, the board has not yet been able to
recruit a programme manager for the review, the report said.
The report, by medical directorate general manager Ian
Winwood (Southland), and diagnostic and support services
general manager Sharon Mason (Otago), will be considered at
today's hospital advisory committee meeting in Dunedin.