Med­i­cal imag­ing in fo­cus

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

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