Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick
Toowoomba Hospital Expanded CT Service In Full Swing MRI Coming Next
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said a $9.55 Million project to install a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) service in 2017 would deliver enormous benefits to patients of Toowoomba Hospital’s medical imaging department.
“Toowoomba Hospital’s medical imaging service is already comprehensive, with x-ray, ultrasound, angiography, and CT services, but adding an MRI will take it to a new level.” Minister Dick said.
“Every year at Toowoomba Hospital there are around 500 inpatients and 1,500 outpatients who need MRI services and those patients are currently referred to private services in Toowoomba, or to Brisbane.”
“Having an MRI on-site will mean huge savings in terms of time and travel for patients, and for the nursing staff who accompany them to off-site services.”
“The Philips Ingenia ‘3T’ machine to be installed will be the first of its kind in a public hospital in the area covered by the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS), and that is tremendous news for people needing MRI services, from Toowoomba and surrounding areas throughout the DDHHS.”
At the final meeting of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board for 2016, Board Chair Mr. Mike Horan AM, said the service was scheduled to be up and running by mid-2017.
“The MRI service will be located adjacent to our medical imaging department here in the Emma Webb building at Toowoomba Hospital, with major construction work scheduled to start in February.” Mr. Horan said.
“If all goes to schedule we anticipate that will be providing public MRI services from June next year.”
Mr. Horan said it was an exciting time for the hospital’s medical imaging department, with the recently expanded CT service performing well since a $2.75 Million upgrade was completed in late September.
“We are very pleased with how the expanded CT service has been operating.” Mr. Horan said.
“The project included the replacement of the previous CT scanner with a new machine, and the installation of a second state-of-the-art machine.”
“The expansion means we are now better equipped to meet the demand for services from local patients and those from surrounding areas who travel to Toowoomba to access CT services.”
Mr. Horan said the CT expansion project was an excellent example of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Board’s commitment to delivering improved health care services.
“In 2014-15 the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service recorded an operating surplus of $20.1 Million and the Board was very pleased to be able to reinvest some of those funds into this project.” Mr. Horan said.
“The $2.75 Million was made up of $1.8 Million that had already been allocated for the project, plus an additional $950,000 from the Board.”
“The DDHHS (Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service) vision is to deliver excellence in rural and regional healthcare, and we believe the expansion of Toowoomba Hospital’s medical imaging services is a true representation of that vision in action.”
Toowoomba Hospital Director of Medical Imaging Mr. Aiden Cook said the project highlighted the importance of CT scanner services to the local community.
“The expansion has been a great boost for our medical imaging service.” Mr. Cook said.
“CT services are extremely important in terms of contributing to the best patient care possible, so to have two new, extremely high quality machines is a great step forward.”
“Having the second machine also means we can provide continuity of service, because if one machine needs routine maintenance, we have the other one available.” Mr. Cook said.