Medical imaging in focus
A Pilbara doctor is seeking funds for a medical imaging facility in Karratha to end the need for residents to travel to Perth for scans.
The proposed medical imaging centre, to be built across the road from the Karratha Health Campus, would be the first such facility between Perth and Darwin. If realised, it could see Karratha become a hub for private medical imaging services in the North West.
It is the brainchild of long-term Karratha doctor Martin Kumar and would house a variety of machines, including a high-specification MRI, a low-dose CT scanner, a C-arm, two digital X-rays, two 4D ultrasound machines, a mammogram facility and a DEXA bone densitometry facility.
Mr Kumar said the facility would have the “best equipment on the planet” if it went ahead.
“Existing facilities in Karratha and other regional centres are not able to provide the required services and many a time patients have to be flown to Perth at great cost to facilitate the investigations required to provide adequate medical care to patients in need,” he said.
“Providing a comprehensive medical imaging service in or near Karratha hospital could reduce expenses from $1000 per patient to approximately $350 per patient, with little or no delays for the doctor and an assurance of a follow-up service towards the end of the treatment cycle.
“With a combined population of more than 180,000 people, including fly-in, fly-out workers, the North West is critically underserviced for medical imaging.”
Mr Kumar said not-for-profit health organisation and employer 360 Health was supportive of the centre.
Project’s supporter George Levissianos, called for political parties to commit to funding it, saying candidates should do so if they wanted votes. Country WA Primary Health Network regional manager Winny Henry said services to tackle drug and alcohol use, chronic disease, mental health problems and disorders, domestic violence were lacking in the area.