Wider benefit from scanner

Queenstown Lakes Mayor and Wakatipu health watchdog leader Vanessa van Uden says the diagnostic CT scanner destined for Dunstan Hospital in Clyde will be an asset for Queenstown Lakes residents as well.

A National Health Board panel tasked with solving the Wakatipu's healthcare gridlock just over a year ago recommended to the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) a scanner to serve the Central-Lakes districts be installed at Lakes District Hospital, Frankton, even though Dunstan Hospital supporters were already working to acquire a scanner.

There was deemed to be insufficient patient demand to sustain two scanners.

Ms van Uden this week said she was "delighted" with Friday's announcement the Central Lakes Trust had granted $1 million for the scanner at Dunstan.

"This funding, which will ultimately see a scanner being available within one hour's drive of Queenstown, is something that's of benefit not just for Central Otago, but for our community as well," she said.

Asked about progress in getting a scanner for Queenstown, Ms van Uden said the SDHB was developing a master plan for services on the Lakes District Hospital site.

The grant from the Central Lakes Trust for the scanner at Dunstan will help with buying the machine, installing it and with maintenance costs.

As with all of Dunstan Hospital's community-funded assets, the scanner will be owned by Central Otago Health Inc and leased to the hospital's operating company, Central Otago Health Services Ltd.

Trust chief executive Paul Allison, of Cromwell, this week said the merits of an approach for funding by proponents of the Queenstown-based scanner would be considered by trustees at the time: "Obviously, we'll wait and see what the evidence is ... the door is certainly open for a future approach."