New CT scanner in radiology dept

Specialist services executive director Patrick Ng. Photo: ODT files
Patrick Ng
Dunedin's new CT scanner will be sited in the radiology department, the Southern District Health Board decided on Tuesday.

The board was told three options had been considered by a workshop: in the community, or in Dunedin Hospital in either the radiology or emergency departments.

Each location had pros and cons, but the unanimous view of the workshop was that the machine, an important diagnostic tool, should be sited in radiology.

The department had enough space for the machine, and its positioning alongside a high-specification machine meant a less powerful machine could be bought and the main machine kept for urgent work.

"With the current constraints associated with having only one scanner, it is not infrequent that an urgent case has to wait because another urgent case is already using the scanner," specialist services director Patrick Ng said.

"Having two CT scanners would reduce the instances when urgent patients have to wait longer than they should and the whole reference group felt that this was a compelling reason to locate the new CT scanner in the radiology department."

Emergency department head and board member John Chambers voted for the machine to be in radiology but noted the scanner’s importance to his department, citing a case where an X-ray had supposedly shown what the patient’s problem was but a CT scan had highlighted seven other issues.

Mr Ng said a new scanner would be sited in or next to the emergency department in the new Dunedin Hospital.


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