PORTLAND District Health chief radiographer Robin Parry (front right) says the entire radiology department is thrilled to receive such a significant donation.
MEDICAL imaging technicians Katerina Sakelaropoulos (left) and Helen Roberts will soon be able to look at digital images when they do scans.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Portland District Health’s medical imaging department will be boosted with a range of new equipment and upgrades after receiving a $600,000 bequest from a local resident.

PDH has welcomed the bequest from the Andrew Jack Trust which will allow upgrade of existing medical imaging equipment and introduction of new specialised services to Portland residents.

Mr Jack died last year after a short illness. The bequest to PDH is one of many made throughout the region to support health, education and agricultural projects.

The PDH Medical Imaging department will soon have a new digital Orthopantomogram (OPG) dental X-ray machine that provides panoramic scanning of the jaw and teeth. The OPG machine is also capable of performing Cone Beam CT imaging of the dental and facial structures, a new and exciting technology used for dental implant planning, and prior to facial surgery.

Chief Radiographer Robin Parry said PDH Medical Imaging would welcome the new equipment and upgrades to existing equipment, which would greatly enhance the services currently provided by the medical imaging department. 

“The addition of cone-beam dental CT imaging will put PDH Medical Imaging at the forefront of dental imaging capability in the Western District,” she said.

Ms Parry added that clients from Western District and beyond would be attracted to the specialised Portland Cone Beam CT service otherwise unavailable in this district.

The generous bequest will also enable the reintroduction of fluoroscopy services to the community of Portland and district. Fluoroscopy uses X-rays to obtain real-time moving images of internal structures.

The hospital’s current fluoroscopy machine is not functioning, resulting in people travelling to Hamilton, Mt Gambier or Warrnambool for service.

“This will enable us to re-establish a fluoroscopy service and it will also double as a second general X-ray machine,” Ms Parry said.

Also included will be a digital bone mineral density scanner to enable early detection and treatment of osteoporosis. The scanner also incorporates a body composition assessment tool, measuring body fat, tissue and bone, enabling improved overall patient management by the referrers.

A new digital Image Intensifier will also be purchased for use in the operating theatres, performing real time x-ray imaging for patients undergoing specialised surgery.

“New CT upgrade software will put Portland on equal footing with modern dose reduction CT imaging platforms available in city practices,” Ms Parry said.

“Further improvements in the area of ultrasound will place PDH medical imaging at the leading edge of best practice in diagnostic ultrasound imaging and enable our patients access to services equal to that available in any major city hospital.”

“We are very grateful for this bequest which will be of huge benefit to PDH and our local community,” Ms Parry said.

Spokesman for the foundation, Dr Kym Stock, said Mr Jack was a local farmer who left a lasting legacy for the region.

Dr Stock, a Portland dentist, was a member of the Rotary Club of Portland with Mr Jack. “He wanted to make sure his money went to worthwhile projects in health, education, agricultural education and to support Rotary projects,” he said.

He said the bequest to PDH would result in improved medical outcomes for local people.

“Like many small hospitals, Portland struggles to get some more expensive pieces of equipment, which means people have to travel further for specialist care,” Dr Stock said.

“This equipment will help people to access more services close to home.”

STORY BY Rick Bain  PICTURES BY Kirsty Hill, Portland Observer

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