Patients are waiting three weeks for "urgent" computerised
tomography (CT) scans at Dunedin Hospital - a week more than
the target of two weeks.
However, waiting an extra week for an urgent CT scan should
not adversely affect the patient, radiology clinical leader
Dr Ben Wilson said through a spokesman.
Waiting times for urgent scans were released to the Otago
Daily Times under the Official Information Act.
Patients needing urgent abdomen/pelvis ultrasound checks were
waiting three to six weeks for scans that should be done
As of October 11, 61 patients were waiting for an urgent CT
scan, and nine for urgent abdomen/pelvis ultrasound scans.
This month, the Southern District Health Board's hospital
advisory committee was told patients were waiting 20 weeks,
rather than 12, for routine CT scans at Dunedin. Usually, the
committee is not advised about urgent scans, but this month
some were over target.
In a written statement, Dr Wilson said there was no formal
definition of urgency.
"Generally, waiting three weeks rather than two weeks will
have little impact on outcomes ... but if the referrer is
concerned at the waiting time then they contact the radiology
team to provide clinical reasons for the time-frame to be
The hospital committee was this month advised routine CT scan
patients were being scanned at Southland and Oamaru
hospitals, to help clear the backlog.
A review of Otago-Southland radiology services is planned,
but has been delayed because of a lack of success recruiting
a programme manager.