Patients are waiting 40 weeks for a routine CT scan at
Dunedin Hospital, a report to tomorrow's hospital advisory
Southern District Health Board is trying to reduce waiting
times, which reached 87 weeks for a routine MRI at Dunedin
Hospital two years ago.
It is taking a region-wide view, which increasingly means
patients need to travel to other centres for procedures.
Patients now wait 35 weeks for a routine MRI scan in Dunedin,
and up to 26 weeks for routine ultrasound. Dunedin was also
not meeting targets for urgent CT and ultrasound, but the
report did not disclose how long patients waited for those.
Patients in Southland receive routine CT and MRI scans within
the target times of 12 and 16 weeks respectively. In
addition, there is no unscheduled wait list at Southland,
whereas in Dunedin nearly 500 patients were waiting for an
In recent months, Otago MRI patients have been able to travel
to Invercargill for their procedure, and a similar
arrangement has just been introduced for CT for South Otago
patients. In a new arrangement from this month, Waitaki would
scan CT patients from the Oamaru area, the report by senior
manager Elaine Chisnall said.
Oamaru Hospital general manager Robert Gonzales said when
contacted he was pleased to have reached a new agreement last
month with the board to scan more patients in the machine
acquired in 2008, although an existing arrangement had seen
it do two board-funded scans a week.
The machine, which is partly used by the private sector and
ACC, was running at 35% capacity. An Official Information Act
request to the board reveals a 35% increase in patients at
Dunedin Hospital waiting for skin-lesion surgery (167
patients), as at January 15, compared with the previous year.
In contrast, numbers of those waiting for surgery at
Southland Hospital had dropped.