Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 25 September 2009 Contents LOCAL NEWS
25 September, 2009 | Page 3
The Fiordland Medical Practice has been
awarded a $50,000 grant that will save
many patients the time and expense of
having to travel to Invercargill for their
X-Rays to be read.
The practice successfully applied to the
Ministry of Health's rural innovation fund to
buy teleradiography equipment that means
X-rays taken in Te Anau will be able to be
read by specialists in Invercargill without the
need for either the patient or the celluloid
films to travel.
GP Stephen Hoskin said last year 333
X-rays were taken at the practice. In
straightforward cases they were able to be
read in Te Anau and treatment started.
However, many patients were required to
travel to Southland Hospital for their X-rays
to be checked, only to find that their injury
could be treated in Te Anau.
Such trips, while necessary, were
inconvenient and costly to patients, Dr
Such burdens on rural patients were seldom
acknowledged when the Government was
divvying up its health budget.
Dr Hoskin said he and the other Fiordland
doctors were conscious of the difficulties
their patients faced living so far from the
base hospital and were ongoing advocates
for better access to services.
"Wherever it's possible and safe to do so I
think we should be providing services here
that are provided at the hospital," he said.
They were therefore delighted to learn their
application for funding of a teleradiography
project had been approved.
The money will enable the practice to buy
the equipment and software to develop
X-rays digitally so they can be sent instantly
to Southland Hospita. Local GPs will be
able to discuss a patient's condition with
an orthopaedic surgeon over the phone as
they both view the same X-ray on computer
Some patients would still have to travel to
Invercargill for treatment but those able to
be treated in Te Anau would be identified
sooner, Dr Hoskin said.
Another benefit was that Te Anau doctors
would have access to old X-rays to check
on a pateint's progress. At present the
developed films are sent to Dunedin each
week for recording.
It's unclear yet whether the $50,000 grant
will meet the full cost of the equipment and
its associated software. Investigations are
also being carried out to ensure the practice
has adequate broadband bandwidth to
support it. However, it was hoped the
project would be operational by Christmas,
before the traditionally busy and accident-
prone summer season.
Grant puts Te Anau doctors in the picture
Dr Stephen Hoskin checks a celluloid X-ray at the Fiordland Medical Practice. A $50,000 grant will
enable the practice to buy equipment to develop X-rays digitally.
The premier winners of the recent
Destination Fiordland Tourism Awards have
been singled out for further recognition on a
Steve Norris, of Trips and Tramps, who was
named Tourism Personality of the Year
and Nigel and Paula Lamb, of Fiordland
Explorer Charters, who were named Tourism
Operator of the Year, were honoured again
at last week's Southland Conservation
The awards, presented by the Department
of Conservation, acknowledge sustained
commitment to volunteer conservation
projects. DOC Southland Conservator Barry
Hanson said they recognised the vital role
of volunteers in helping to enhance and
protect our natural and historic heritage.
"The department takes great pride in
acknowledging the efforts of schools,
iwi, community groups, businesses and
individuals who give hours and hours
of their time for the many conservation
projects currently being undertaken in their
communities," he said.
"They play a vital role improving the health
of ecosystems, enhancing and promoting
outdoor recreation opportunities, and
protecting our natural and historic heritage
for the enjoyment of future generations."
Every year more volunteer hours were being
invested in conservation work in Southland.
"It seems our biggest challenge is not
inspiring people to be involved but keeping
up with the amazing work being done."
There were many ways in which
conservation, communities and business
were good for each other and it was
this investment in the environment that
underpinned the economy, Mr Hanson said.
Mr Norris won the award for Individual
Services to Conservation in recognition of
his consistent and dedicated leadership in
community conservation efforts, his tireless
enthusiasm as a keen conservationist
influencing tourists, Kepler Challenge
runners, friends and family, and for being
instrumental in pest-trapping programmes.
The Lambs won the Corporate Conservation
Award for their work eradicating stoats and
possums to protect native birds and restore
The 2009 Southland Conservation
Champion is Roger McNaughton whose
ongoing interest and involvement in
conservation projects around Southland is
legendary. Passionate about the use and
protection of wild areas, he chairs both
the Southland Conservation Board and the
Fiordland Conservation Trust and is heavily
involved in the Rakiura Pest Liaison Group
and the Rakiura Hunter Hut Trust.
Oraka/Aparima Runaka's commitment and
persistence in conservation restoration
efforts at Rarotaoka/Centre Island was
rewarded with the Community Conservation
Award. The runaka has revived a former
waste disposal site to a fully functioning
wetland and, in doing so, reconnected their
members with cultural plant knowledge.
The Richard Henry Conservation Award for
Southland Schools went to Southland Girls'
New Zealand's Poet Laureate, Cilla
McQueen, of Bluff,was guest of honour
at the awards last Thursday. Her work is
influenced by the natural beauty of her
environment and she read a poem written
especially for the evening.
Familiar names top conservation awards list
NZQA Long Run Iron
20 Liemen Street, Otautau
Directors: Brent & Linda Stearne
Mob: 027 621 8535
AH: 03 225 8868 Fax: 03 225 8864
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