SOUTH Gippsland Hospital in Foster is now the proud owner of a magnificent new CT scanner.
The $200,000 machine, purchased with a grant from the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, is now ensconced in a new room especially constructed to house it as part of a $580,000 refurbishment of the hospital. It is anticipated that the first patients will be making using of it this week.
“The CT scanner adds to the doctors’ diagnostic tools and is a great addition to the services we can offer to the community,” said the chief executive officer of South Gippsland Hospital, Peter Rushen.
He said that the hospital-owned CT scanner extends the suite of services offered by radiographer Francis Sullivan through his private business, South Gippsland Radiology. These include X-rays, ultrasounds and bone density scans.
Mr Sullivan said that he will use the new machine to do “all manner of CT scans (except cardiac scans), including bones and soft tissues, and it will be very useful in cases of trauma where time is of the essence”.
The purchase of the scanner for the local hospital means that patients will no longer have to go to Leongatha or even further afield when their doctors recommend they have a scan. Mr Sullivan said that this is particularly important for the Corner Inlet district, which has an ageing population and therefore, generally speaking, more people with conditions requiring further investigation. “Limited access to transport can be an issue, too, so having a scanner on hand is especially significant,” he added.
In a further boon for the local health service, the hardworking South Gippsland Hospital Auxiliary raised sufficient money – around $14,000 – for the purchase of a contrast injector to be used in conjunction with the CT scanner.
“We are very lucky to have the support of the auxiliary,” said Mr Rushen. “Their fundraising efforts are ongoing. They are currently working towards the purchase of a suction system to operate throughout the hospital.”
Mr Rushen said that the refurbishment of the hospital, of which the new room to house the scanner is a part, is nearly complete. There’s a new ambulance entry, a new waiting room, a new medical dispensary and the nurses’ station has been upgraded, along with the urgent care department, which has an extra emergency bed.
The upgrade, said the CEO, has been keenly anticipated since early 2000. “It has involved replacing the original wooden floor, which was becoming something of a trip hazard, with concrete flooring. The nursing staff, in particular, are very happy with the new vinyl flooring. It is smart, fresh and clean.”
Visitors to South Gippsland Hospital are invited to make use of the Jones Street entrance, particularly if they are heading to X-ray or to have a CT scan, but the main entrance in Station Road is still very much in operation.
It is hoped, said Mr Rushen, that there will be an official opening of the entire refurbishment in May, when all the work should have been completed.
“With this out of the way, discussions have now commenced about the overall service provided by the hospital and what additional services may be required,” he added.