New machines prompt big move
THE need for medical imaging is growing in Gladstone and the bulk of the work is more people needing chest x-rays.
Central Queensland Radiology operations manager Susan Jochheim said much of the work is being conducted for employees working in the mining industry.
"It's a requirement for anyone before and after they start work in the mines, as well as an annual check,” she said.
"But patients are coming in because they're curious about their lungs and stonemasons are also at risk.
"After chest x-rays the bulk of the scans are fractures, shoulder, knee and back aches and pains.
"It's busy, the numbers have been good compared to our historical data.”
As a result, Ms Jochheim said the business decided to make a some big changes and big move.
"We wanted to update our MRI and CT scanner,” she said.
"That meant pulling our old building apart to get them in, so it was the perfect time to move.
"We can't move easily or quickly, because there's a lot of infrastructure goes into a medical imaging businesses.
"The new MRI is almost double the strength with the ability to image a wider variety of scans and both machines have a wider bore so they're not so claustrophobic for patients.”
The new machines are not only newer, they're state of the art.
"The MRI gives us greatly improved resolution in a much quicker time,” Ms Jochheim said.
"For a CT scan, it used to take 20 minutes to scan a lumber spine, now we can do it in 40 seconds and about 3 minutes for a CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.
"It would be hard to improve that time because it's limited by the patient breathing in and holding their breath.
"The CT machine provides lower radiation by determining what is suitable for each patient individually which is certainly beneficial for paediatric cases.”
The business moved last month from the Windmill Medical Centre to it's new premises on 13 Dawson Road.
"We needed more room and this venue was perfect,” Ms Jochheim said.
"Here we have more street frontage, better car parking and accessibility and room to grow.”
The extra room will come in very handy after Christmas.
"We currently have 24 staff working here but we'll be employing six more people in January,” Ms Jochheim said.
"Four more technical staff, a doctor and another receptionist.
"The whole move, the new machines and staff is a huge investment.
"This is bucking the trend of a lot of medical businesses in Gladstone.”
"We see ourselves here for a few years to come.”