Time, money and most importantly lives would be saved by the installation of a CT scan machine at the Charters Towers Hospital, State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter is lobbying for the vital technology to be delivered to Charters Towers, in the hope it will improve health outcomes for local and western patients and alleviate pressure on the Townsville hospital system.
Currently any local in-patients needing a CT scan or medical imaging other than an X-ray must be transported by ambulance or helicopter to the Townsville Hospital.
Mr Katter said this routine diversion to Townsville was a risk to patients.
He said it also impacted on hospital and QAS staffing levels, with doctors, nurses and paramedics often pulled from their wards or the road to transfer patients from Charters Towers to Townsville.
Any pressure placed on medical staffing levels in a small town could have disastrous consequences, Mr Katter said.
It’s understood a CT scanner could be installed in Charters Towers for around $3.5 million.
“When we evaluate what our medical needs are in town here, we need to remember the Charters Towers Hospital is the closest major medical centre for a lot of our western areas too,” Mr Katter said.
“For example, getting a CT scanner would not only save lives around Charters Towers but also those for patients out as far as Hughenden and other rural surrounds.
“The more services we can offer in town here, the better the outcomes are going to be for the sick and injured and also the more likely we are to attract and retain the highly-qualified staff we need.
“My aim is to see Charters Towers Hospital as a well-equipped, functional hospital that alleviates pressure on the Townsville system wherever it can.”
Mr Katter said the installation of a CT scanner and also the delivery of in-chair dialysis were two of the biggest health priorities for Charters Towers.
A CT (computerised tomography) scan is a sophisticated X-ray that takes cross-sectional and three-dimensional pictures of any part of the body using a computer.
It is an important diagnostic tool, as it can give good pictures of soft tissues of the body, which don’t always show up on X-rays. CT scans can also show bones and blood vessels.
CT scans are frequently used to evaluate the brain, neck, spine, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and sinuses.