Ingham Daily Press

Keeping People Connected

CT scanners a necessity for northern communities

Bob Katter with the Ingham Health Services Community Advisory Network

KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter, will be knocking down the door of the Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, pleading the case for CT scanners to be installed at the Ingham and Charters Towers hospitals after hearing harrowing stories of local patients waiting hours for treatment due to the lack of technology.

A CT scan or computed tomography scan is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to obtain detailed internal images of the body non-invasively for diagnostic purposes.

Members of the Ingham Health Service Community Advisory Network were pleased to meet with Mr Katter when he visited Ingham recently.

Peter Smith, the Chairman of the Ingham Health Service Community Advisory Network, said the group discussed with Mr. Katter the need for the hospital to have on-site computed tomography equipment.

“This diagnostic tool is essential to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of many life-threatening conditions,” he said.

“Bob said that he would meet with the Federal Minister for Health this week on the matter.”

Mr Katter said the group told him that patients had to be transported across Ingham to the town’s privately owned CT scanner, or to Townsville, which tied up important paramedic resources that would otherwise be responding to other emergencies.

“There can be a lot of trauma and tragedy inflicted on patients having to wait and be transported for hours to major cities CT scan, at critical times this wait can make a significant difference to patient outcomes,” Mr Katter said.

“I applaud the initiative of Rural Medical Imaging to get a privately owned CT scanner in Ingham, but there’s plenty of room for two here. Plus, the privately owned machine only operates during normal business hours, not 24/7. We need something in the hospitals available all the time.

“Bowen received Federal Government money for a CT scanner before the last election, and Bowen is smaller than Charters Towers and Ingham. So, I will be very concerned if we don’t get a positive response when we meet with the Minister this week.”

Mr Katter also met with Charters Towers Councillor Graham Lohmann about the need for a CT scanner in that community.

Graham Lohmann said Charters Towers is in a terrible situation as it does not even have a private practice that has a CT scanner.

“We are desperate for a CT scanner and the problem is only exacerbated by distance and cost,” he said.

“Our hospital is over 100 years old so the CT scanner will have to have its own building as well which will cost approximately $3.5 million.”

“I understand that Charters Towers is the only town in Queensland of this size without a CT scanner. This is putting the lives of our community at risk given that if a CT scan is urgently required, the patient must be transferred to Townsville a 2-hour journey. This is an unacceptable delay. 

“Furthermore, having this capability at Charters Towers should benefit our regional community where outpatients from regional towns to the west and northwest could be referred to this facility.  This would relieve pressure on stretched health resources in Townsville.  Charters Towers Regional Council continues to lobby the State and Commonwealth for improved health care in our community.”

Story By

Subscribe To Receive Weekly News Updates