Scanner signals partnership

19:58, Oct 24 2012
SHARED INTEREST: From left, Radiology boss Sally Urry, Lion Foundation chairman Mike Smith, health board deputy chief executive Ron Pearson, rear, and Pam Tregonning and John Maansall from Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation.

Specialists are getting to the heart of the matter quickly at Middlemore Hospital, thanks to a new CT scanner.

The $2 million Siemens machine, considered among the best in the world, does accurate heart scans as well as regular X-rays, radiology clinical services director Sally Urry says.

It represents a growing partnership between the radiology and cardiology departments "who were able to put their egos aside" in sourcing the best possible machine.

‘There's a lot of change going on in CT and MR and we're incredibly fortunate to have one of the best and newest units in the country, and we have it through the generosity of the Lion Foundation," she says.

A $1m donation from the Lion Foundation helped secure the machine which will perform up to 9000 scans each year, nearly half of the 20,000 performed at the hospital annually.

Counties Manukau District Health Board deputy chief executive Ron Pearson praised the foundation's ongoing support during tight fiscal times.


"It's just phenomenal, $1m for the CT scanner is great. It's a well appreciated contribution to the people of this region," Mr Pearson says.

The donation complements the hard work of the hospital's own funding arm, Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation, headed by outgoing chairman John Maansall, in financing the balance.

The two-tonne unit was bought at the same time as another bound for the Canterbury health board.

Each machine is dual sourced - with two tubes and two detectors - and can scan from "top-to-toe in seconds".

It's addition means that cardiac patients will no longer have to go to Greenlane for heart scans. In the past 12 months more than 400 South Auckland patients have travelled to Mercy Ascot Hospital for cardiac checks, Middlemore cardiologist Dr Niels Van Pelt says.

"We'd have to track out there too, to report the scans. It was expensive so it's much better to have it in-house now. We really have the best cardiac CT scanner anywhere in the world right here.

"It's really great to have the financial support to do these things," Mr Van Pelt says.

Manukau Courier