MidCentral District Health Board this week approved the purchase of a new computed tomography (CT) scanner for its Radiation Oncology area of the Regional Cancer Treatment Service.
The $1.74million price tag includes extra equipment, and building changes to allow better workflow, increased scanner capacity, and improved access to treatment.
The new CT scanner replaces an aging 12-year-old, six-slice CT scanner, which while performing reliably, due to its advanced age and lack of technical capability, is no longer fit for purpose.
The new 64-slice CT scanner is significantly more advanced than the existing one and provides faster scanning, greater accuracy, and better image quality. It also allows patients up to 300ks to be treated. Once installed, it will be the only CT in MDHB, and regionally, that can scan up to this weight limit.
Radiation Oncology treats around 1600 new patients a year, and is the largest of the RCTS specialties. Each new patient has at least one CT scan per treatment course, with many having re-scans to review tumour growth or regressions as treatment progresses. It is not possible to accurately treat a patient without first having a CT scan.
The aim is to divide up the existing CT scanning room into two – one area to house the new scanner; the other as a ‘set up’ room, that simulates the scanning room. Both rooms could be used at the same time, making better use of workflow and increasing the capacity of the CT.
The two rooms should help to reduce waiting times; improve the patient experience, especially for those from out of town; and enhancing capacity across hospital services.
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