Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames
CT Scanner at Karratha
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls and Minister for Health Kim Hames have jointly announced a boost for Health services in the Pilbara.
A new state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) scanner installed at Nickol Bay Hospital is already benefiting patients in Karratha and the West Pilbara by reducing the need to travel to Port Hedland or Perth for scans.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today officially launched the high calibre CT scanner at Nickol Bay Hospital. This announcement represents a $38.2 Million partnership between the State Government and major Pilbara industries to boost health services in the region.
Mr. Grylls said the Pilbara Health Initiative was set up to fund urgently needed health services and equipment in the region, which had struggled to keep pace with population pressures and the needs of the growing community.
“This is part of the Government’s focus on providing improved services and facilities to people in the Pilbara.” Mr. Grylls said.
“The new CT scanner can perform complex examinations and procedures and help with early diagnosis of many diseases, ensuring patients receive the right treatment more quickly.”
“Up to 12 patients are being scanned at Nickol Bay Hospital. Historically, about four patients a day would be referred from Karratha to Port Hedland for a CT scan, so having this equipment available locally is already benefiting a lot of residents.”
Health Minister Dr. Kim Hames said installation of the scanner had also required upgrades to be made to the hospital’s medical imaging department, creating a modern, contemporary facility for residents of the region.
“The new machine will mean fewer trauma patients will need to be transferred to Port Hedland for investigations and it will also help with diagnosis and follow-up screening of cancer patients.” Dr. Hames said.
Under the partnership agreement, $32.96 Million of funding is being provided through the Royalties for Regions Pilbara Revitalisation Plan, with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Pilbara Industry’s Community Council (PICC) Health Initiative members (BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, North West Shelf Joint Venture, Rio Tinto and Woodside Energy) contributing $5.28 Million.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the CT scanner was just one of many initiatives continuing to provide enhanced health services in the region through the Pilbara Health Initiative.
“This is great news for Karratha and surrounding community residents, it brings exciting state-of-the-art technology to Nickol Bay Hospital that will benefit patients for years to come.” Mr. Howard-Smith said.
The State Government has also provided $10 Million for a package of urgent upgrades to health services and staff accommodation at Nickol Bay Hospital, and a further $2.5 Million to hospitals throughout the Pilbara to replace clinical and imaging equipment and step up health services to Pilbara communities.