Scanner for bone density coming to SCDHB
A bone density scanner is to be added to the list of services available through the South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB).
The scanner, which uses a small amount of X-ray to measure the amount of mineral in the bones of the lower back, hip or forearm, is due to be installed at Timaru Radiology next week.
It is likely to be ready for its first patient by December, SCDHB chief executive Nigel Trainor said.
"South Canterbury had a machine many years ago, but that was never replaced back then."
As a result, up to 40 South Canterbury people were going to Christchurch each year for the scans.
However, Mr Trainor said it was expected up to 100 scans a year will take place in Timaru when the new scanner is in operation.
Scanning devices have been a top priority for the SCDHB in the past two years.
A year ago the DHB bought the latest in real-time 4D ultrasound imagery, benefiting expectant mothers. The machine provides a clearer image than the SCDHB's former 4D model. It also better equips specialists to screen for abnormalities like Down syndrome.
A new CT scanner has been operational at Timaru Hospital since June last year and the community-funded MRI scanner was launched in March this year.
The MRI scanner has completed 1085 scans in its first six months. That figure was made up of 597 scans done through the public sector and 488 private scans.
In that period the Timaru scanner had saved $44,952 in ambulance transfers, which was in line with an expected annual saving of $90,000.
- © Fairfax NZ News