Dunedin Hospital patients are now waiting up to 40 weeks for
a routine MRI scan, with efforts to reduce wait times mostly
yet to bear fruit.
The wait for an MRI at 35 to 40 weeks compared with a
straight 35 weeks reported to the Southern District Health
Board's hospital advisory committee last month. The health
board this week released an update on the situation following
concerns expressed last month after the release of routine
wait times. The board says it is making better use of the
resources of the whole region, which means patients need to
travel in some cases to Southland or Oamaru. It has also
started MRI clinics on some Saturdays in Dunedin.
This week, patients were still waiting 40 weeks for a routine
The wait for ultrasound in Dunedin had reduced by two weeks,
and was now 22 to 26 weeks. Women's, children's and public
health medical director Dr Marion Poore said while that
appeared identical to the ultrasound waiting time last month,
it had been incorrectly reported to the committee then. All
urgent cases were being scanned within the two-week target
Dr Poore, in a statement, indicated the board expected to see
improvements in the coming weeks.
''As technology and practices advance, the ... radiology
service has seen an increase in the number of referrals for
patients requiring more complex scans, which take longer to
carry out,'' Dr Poore said.
''The quality of imaging services is high but we recognise
that waiting times in Dunedin for routine scans is too