CT scanner in full use

Dunedin Hospital’s new CT scanner is now in full use in its radiology department.

The machine, the purchase of which was accelerated by the Southern District Health Board in a bid to tackle its lengthy waiting lists for cancer treatment and diagnosis, has been scanning patients for a week.

It is expected the new machine, which will be used for a wide range of tasks including detection of cancer, blood clots, fractures and vascular conditions, will be able to deliver about 6000 additional elective examinations a year.

The Ministry of Health target is for 95% of CT scans to be completed within 42 days, but according to the most recent figures Dunedin Hospital only managed 69%.

That figure, while below target, was an improvement and the SDHB hoped the new machine would provide a further boost to that performance.

“We’ve been working hard to improve access to radiology and reduce the wait list, including adding regular evening shifts,’’ acting specialist services executive director Megan Boivin said.

The SDHB is due to replace two more CT scanners in this financial year, and is considering buying a new MRI scanner as part of the same order.

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