New X-ray machine enters service at Te Anau

Fiona McDonald of Te Anau gets her foot prepared for an x-ray by GP Dr Paula King and Southland Hospital medical technologist Tara Pennicott. PHOTO: Claire Kaplan

A new X-ray machine at Fiordland Medical Centre is now up and running after being installed last week, with centre staff already quickly putting it to use for patients in need.

The replacement machine comes after a lightning strike last February damaged the centre's former X-ray machine plate reader, in addition to the fact that the old model's X-ray tube had been due for replacement. 

Southland Hospital medical technologist Tara Pennicott trained the medical staff. She said the model brought in for the centre — the Phillips Compact DuraDiagnost — was the first to be used in Australasia, with its compact size ideal for a rural centre like Fiordland. 

Fiordland Medical Centre GP Dr Steve Hoskin said the practice was licensed to use the machine to examine limbs. It was in discussion with the Southern District Health Board about getting a radiologist to come to the centre and expand its list of offerings beyond limbs.

Even though the saying goes that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, the centre was not taking any chances. Dr Hoskin said the device was well protected from future lightning strikes with a surge protector in place.


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