10 May 2023

Health service prepares hospital for CT machine

| Cape York Weekly
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WORK has started on the construction of a space at Weipa Hospital to house a new CT scanner.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service chief executive Beverley Hamerton said an ideal location had been identified for the machine.

“We are reconfiguring some under-utilised, non-clinical space conveniently situated near the emergency department to house the new scanner,” she said.

“We expect the works to be completed and the CT scanner switched on and scanning patients by early 2021.”

The project was funded by a $1.15 million partnership between Rio Tinto and Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation and a $1.35 million contribution from the state government.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities in which we operate,” Rio Tinto Weipa acting general manager Dan Kelleher said.

“We are proud to be able to continue our strong partnership with Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service to bring this service to Weipa and surrounding Western Cape communities.

“We are excited to see this project commence which will provide locals access to advanced health services without needing to leave their community.”

Ms Hamerton said the Weipa CT scanner would be the health service’s first and marked a significant step forward for the region’s health services.

“The new CT scanner means between 40 and 50 patients a month from Weipa and the wider Western Cape region will no longer need to travel out of the region for clinical investigation,’” she said.

“With the scanner on site, our doctors and visiting specialists can perform more services here in Weipa.

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

Ms Hamerton said the introduction of a CT scanning service at Weipa would help attract and retain suitably qualified staff that would be able to work to their full scope of practice, while also increasing the self-sufficiency of the Weipa Hospital.

She said a full-time radiographer would be recruited to support the new service and there would also be opportunities for upskilling Indigenous staff to support the CT scanner and other services.

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