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Taupo Hospital to have a CT scanner

It's hoped the second scanner will relieve the pressure on the one at Rotorua Hospital. Photo: Daniel Hines/File photo.

Lakes District Health Board is going to have a second CT scanner that will be located at Taupo Hospital.

The whole initiative has a capital cost of about $1.4 million, according to a statement from the Lakes DHB.

Demand for CT scans has increased steadily in the last five years as predicted, and the siting of the second CT scanner at Taupo Hospital will provide a valuable diagnostic resource to the southern part of Lakes DHB.

Radiology Department service manager Roger Lysaght says CT examinations can help health professionals in rural areas in making clinical decisions, by providing access to radiological clinical reports.

He says Taupo Hospital now has an excellent stable medical workforce of rural health specialists supported by visiting medical teams from Rotorua Hospital.

"Placement of a CT scanner in Taupo will improve access to high technology imaging to our vulnerable Maori and rural populations. Currently many of these people are unable to or simply can not make the long journey to Rotorua.

"A CT scanner in Taupo Hospital will support equity of outcomes for Maori and rural populations."

A second CT scanner will also ensure that the majority of residents in the southern Lakes communities can have their CTs done at Taupo hospital, rather than needing to go through to Rotorua.

This will also reduce the demand on the scanner at Rotorua Hospital.

Chief Executive Nick Saville-Wood says work is proceeding to order and make arrangements to install the Taupo scanner in time for a start up in September.

The Board expressed strong support for the proposal at its February meeting and gave approval to management to progress with the initiative which has a capital cost of about $1.4 million.

Together with new staff being recruited at Taupo, the Rotorua Radiology team will provide the support to ensure that the scanner is made operational as soon as it is commissioned.

Nick Saville-Wood says the DHB’s clinical services are provided across the two hospitals – in line with its principle of “one service, two sites”, and once the second scanner is in place some patients in Rotorua needing a CT scan may elect to go to Taupo to have their scan as wait times are likely to be shorter than being experienced in Rotorua.

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