10 May 2023

CT scanner arrives at Weipa Hospital

| Matt Nicholls
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Almost a year after funding of $1.15 million was announced by Rio Tinto and the Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation, the scanner will be a game-changer for the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

The installation of the Western Cape’s first CT scanner will mean between 40 and 50 patients a month from Weipa and the wider region will no longer need to travel out of the Cape for clinical investigation.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said it would boost other services out of Weipa.
“With a scanner on site, Weipa doctors and visiting specialists can perform more services here in Weipa,” she said.

“This will allow the continued delivery of high-quality health care within the Western Cape region and faster access to potentially lifesaving scans for cancer, stroke and other medical conditions.”

Once the installation is complete, a period of testing and familiarisation will follow.
The first patient is expected to have their first scan at the hospital before the end of June.

An official opening for the new service will be held on Thursday, July 1.

Weipa Hospital medical boss Dr Will Horwood said access to a CT scanner in the testing and investigation phase of a patient’s care was important.

“Our clinicians here at Weipa are excited about having this service and thank Rio Tinto and Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation for helping make it a reality,” he said.

Ms Lui said the introduction of the CT scanning service at Weipa would help attract and retain staff, while also increasing the self-sufficiency of the Weipa Integrated Health Service.

She said a full-time radiographer was being recruited to support the new service and opportunities also would be provided to upskill First Nations staff to support the CT scanner and other services.

CT scans generate images that allow clinicians to visualise segments of bone and soft tissue from multiple perspectives and ensure a full range of information required for diagnosis and management.

The CT scanner project, which was announced last year, has been funded by a $1.15 million partnership between Rio Tinto and Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation, together with a $1.35 million contribution from the state government.

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