Limpopo health department installs CT scanners at district hospitals to cut wait and travel times

Limpopo District Hospitals get CT scanners
Caption: CT scanners produce a more detailed image than X-rays(Scott & White Healthcare/Flickr)
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

The Limpopo Department of Health handed over CT scanners to five district hospitals this week. For years patients travelled long hours and waited even longer to access just two CT scanners in the province’s public healthcare system.

New CT scanners installed at five district hospitals in Limpopo will ease the burden of long queues and many traveling hours for patients around the province.

On Monday the Limpopo Department of Health handed over new Computerised Tomography (CT) Scanners to Tshilidzini, Mokopane, Letaba, Pietersburg and Mankweng hospitals. The scanners are installed with a Picture, Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

This system allows for the storage retrieval, management, distribution and presentation of medical images. CT scans produce more detailed information that X-rays, creating a cross-sectional image of the patient’s bones, blood vessels and soft tissues.

For patients in Limpopo, it means greater access to modern healthcare. For years, the public healthcare providers relied on only two CT scanners stationed at the provincial hospitals. Patients in need of a CT scan had to travel to Polokwane or Mankweng.

Technology will bring greater healthcare access

“The initiative is of great benefits to the people of Limpopo as they will no longer have to spend many hours of traveling to the provincial hospitals as now our district hospitals are equipped to offer CT scan services,” says Neil Shikwambana, the provincial health spokesperson.

“This initiative will not only save cost but reduce time for clinicians to conclude their diagnosis and commence treatment in time to save lives,” adds Shikwambana.

The provincial health department spent over R50 million to procure the scanners, according to the spokesperson. Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba says the province had to use technology to innovate its services.

“We are mainly a rural province with limited resources especially skilled medical specialists,” says Ramathuba. “We had to be innovative and use technology to accelerate healthcare delivery and accessibility to the most marginalised part of our society.”

“Patients will no longer have to spend three hours on the road just for a scan and clinicians will have to wait just for minuets to get reports from a radiologist,” she says. —Health-e News

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.