Prompt to get new MRI scanner

The SDHB's radiology service is set to return. PHOTO: ODT FILES.
PHOTO: ODT FILES.
Southern District Health Board chairman Pete Hodgson has challenged management to be ambitious and push to buy the board a new MRI scanner if one is needed.

The board’s hospital advisory committee meeting yesterday considered a first draft of a proposed radiology strategy, which aims to improve access to medical imaging technology such as CT and MRI scanners.

Such scans are used by multiple specialties and particularly often used to detect and inform treatment for cancers.

SDHB specialist services executive director Patrick Ng said the draft was far from the finished product and that some incorrect figures would need to be amended before the board could make budget decisions based on it.

Mr Hodgson challenged that as too cautious and said if every early indication was that the SDHB needed a new MRI scanner, work should begin straight away on getting one.

"The fact that someone wants to bring a business case back in December is not tolerable ... I know that there are a lot of things that need to be considered and that you want to do a thorough job, but if it is self-evident that a second MRI is needed then lets buy ... [it] and not let the process hold us up."

Scanning backlogs have been a major issue for the SDHB for some time, and last year the board approved a new CT scanner for Dunedin Hospital as well as requesting a radiology strategy.

 

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