More than 4,500 additional medical imaging scans per year will be able to be undertaken for patients in the southern suburbs as the South Australia Medical Imaging (SAMI) service expands its outpatient service at the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC).
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the expansion will see Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) appointments to be extended to the weekend and ease pressure on South Australia’s busiest emergency department.
“We are committed to ensuring residents in Adelaide’s southern suburbs can access the care they need closer to home,” Minister Wade said.
“This expansion of services will enable more than 750 patients currently on the waitlist for an MRI, waiting an average 16 weeks, to access an appointment and receive the care and treatment they require sooner.
“This will reduce wait times and will allow us to treat thousands more patients each year.
“CT scans and MRI’s are an important part of many patients’ journeys as they can provide a detailed look at abnormalities inside organs, bones or tissue.
“They can be used to help locate and examine the problem, guide how a patient should be treated and help ensure treatment is working.”
The service expansion has been possible because of a mutual decision to end SAMI’s long-standing medical imaging partnership with the Flinders Private Hospital, which has secured a private radiology provider.
The cut in wait times for medical imaging comes as wait times for SA Pathology patients needing blood tests results has also decreased significantly, and in some cases almost halved, across all metropolitan Local Health Networks (LHNs).
Clinical Director of SA Medical Imaging, Associate Professor Marc Agzarian, said SAMI staff working in the Flinders Private Hospital (FPH) will now move to the FMC to fulfil the additional sessions.
“We recognise there is a demand for imaging services in the southern suburbs, so the ability to increase our services will have a positive impact on patients waiting for an appointment,” A/Prof Agzarian said.
“SAMI FMC will still be available to accept private referrals from FPH patients as it would from any other external referrer.
“We will continue to provide services to Flinders Private to assist with the handover until February 2020.”