New ultrasound machines have been delivered to Cunnamulla Hospital and the Mungindi Multipurpose
Health Service to give local doctors improved emergency assessment tools.
South West Hospital and Health Service Executive Director of Medical Services Dr Chris Buck said the
ultrasounds at Cunnamulla and Mungindi were the first outside of Roma, Charleville and St George
“We plan to install similar ultrasounds in other smaller facilities in the South West that have doctors on
site but Cunnamulla and Mungindi are the first cabs of the rank and will be used as pilots,’’ he said.
“We will be evaluating their use in those two centres before looking at further installations.’’
Dr Buck said the $60,000 machines would be used by local doctors in emergency cases to gauge the
extent of injuries and other trauma to a patient.
“This information will then help them decide whether the patient can continue to be treated locally or
whether they require transfer to a larger centre within the South West or outside our region,’’ he said.
“All rural and emergency doctors nowadays, along with anaesthetists, receive basic training in the use of
ultrasound equipment for emergency assessment of patients, so it makes sense to have this equipment
available for them to use.’’
Dr Buck said using ultrasound equipment for emergency assessment was not the same as using it for
detailed diagnostic purposes, such as ultrasounds to investigate organ or tissue functions.
“These are more specialised functions that are the preserve of trained sonographers and specialist
radiologists but certainly the machines can also be used by doctors for quick assessments,’’ he said.
“However, the machines we have chosen to start introducing to medically-staffed facilities can be used
for the full range of assessment and diagnostic functions if required.
“We are also able to upload imagery from them electronically to send to diagnostic specialists at a larger
facility within the South West or further afield for further interpretation and analysis that can then be fed
back to the treating doctor on-site.
“They are a wonderful new tool for our doctors.’’
Mungindi MPHS Medical Superintendent Dr John Lancashire said he and his staff appreciated the
investment made by the South West HHS Board in Mungindi with the purchase of the new machine.
“The ultrasound machine will extend our capability to provide emergency and acute care health services
to the Mungindi community,’’ he said.
“It also has built-in capacity to deliver broader applications for patient care in the future.”
Cunnamulla Hospital Director of Nursing Tracey-Lee Maher said the new ultrasound would help improve
the access to and quality of health care for clients in Cunnamulla.
“The physical size and mobility of the ultrasound machine is very convenient in a rural and isolated
setting,’’ she said.
“In Cunnamulla, it allows for use in virtually any location where medical care can be delivered.’’
• Mungindi MPHS has welcomed the addition of a new ultrasound machine: From left – Medical
Superintendent Dr John Lancashire with Registered Nurse Briannon Roth and Enrolled Nurse
• Dr Chester Wilson is pleased with the arrival of the Cunnamulla Hospital’s new $60,000 Toshiba
Xario 200 ultrasound machine.
For further information contact:
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379