GLADSTONE patients are the healthy winners in a deal signed by Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service and CQ Radiology.
CQ will provide medical imaging - including extra equipment and services - for the Gladstone Hospital.
A new CT scanner, extended x-ray hours and an on-site radiologist are part of the deal, which was revealed yesterday.
An ultrasound and echocardiogram service will also visit Biloela each week.
The move was welcomed by one of the city's longest serving GPs.
Gladstone Central Medical Centre's Dr Stephen Rigby, said it was a "significant improvement", particularly as the waiting time for CT services could be long and patients were often forced to travel to Rockhampton to get scans.
"If it is a new generation CT machine that is of a higher standard than what we have presently that's a step forward," said Dr Rigby, who has practised here for 37 years.
"The fact that they're extending the ultrasound and echocardiogram service to Biloela is a bonus for people who have to travel."
CQHHS would not reveal the cost, but chairman Charles Ware said it "is only slightly less than what is currently spent".
"There is no cost to our public patient," he said.
"The opportunity for us to tap into an expert medical imaging provider who can deliver more services in more locations was just too good a proposition for us to pass up."
Change won't mean job losses, boss says
THERE will be no job losses when CQ Radiology begins providing services at Gladstone Hospital in October.
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service board chairman Charles Ware said fears some staff would be out of work could be put to bed.
"We promised we would put significant weight in the selection criteria to ensure employment for our staff," he said.
"We have been able to achieve exactly that. Every employee will have a position."
He said CQ Radiology would employ CQHHS radiographers and sonographers.
CQHHS will employ all other staff including nurses, administration officers and operational service officers.