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The Southern District Health Board is considering sending cardiac MRI test patients to private hospitals, as it is about to lose the second of two specially trained cardiologists.
Sixteen patients are waiting for a cardiac MRI. It meant a 16-week wait for the procedure, patient services medical director Dick Bunton said in an email.
''We have had two cardiologists able to perform the test over the last 18 months. ''However, one has left and the other is leaving in April.''
The board was reviewing the 16 patients to see if they could have a different test.
''We will ensure patients are provided with appropriate tests and, if necessary, referred to a private provider.''
Cardiac MRI creates images of the heart and major blood vessels to diagnose heart problems.
The Otago Daily Times asked for more information to further clarify the situation, but Mr Bunton was unavailable on Friday.