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Work put in during the Covid-19 lockdown has led to Dunstan Hospital’s radiology and X-ray department being granted official accreditation.

Following more than 12 months of intensive work, the department has gained International Accreditation NZ (IANZ) accreditation.

Central Otago Health Services chief executive Dr Kathryn de Luc said by gaining the accreditation, the health organisation and its radiology referrals could be assured it operated to international standards.

In addition, the department had secured an ACC Hi Tech imaging contract, enabling Dunstan Hospital to accept computed tomography (CT) ACC referrals from specialists.

It also meant Central Otago Health Services could be affiliated to Southern Cross Health Insurance for CT imaging, she said.

“Everyone in the radiology department and wider team at Dunstan Hospital has worked incredibly hard to achieve this accreditation since Central Otago Health Services took over the running of the department two years ago.”

The accreditation had another spin-off in the department being called on by Maniototo Hospital in Ranfurly to provide staff to operate its X-ray service, she said.

Without the service, locals had to travel out of the district for routine X-rays.

“We now have three radiographers from Dunstan Hospital trained to use the new digital radiology system.”

A weekly service now operated and once a month coincided with the orthopaedic clinic run in the area.

CT and ultrasound clinics continue to operate out of Dunstan Hospital for the Maniototo community, Dr de Luc said.

Maniototo Hospital chief executive Geoff Foster said he was pleased to have come to an arrangement with Dunstan to undertake the radiography service.

“We had made a significant investment in state-of-the-art equipment, with the assistance of the Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust.

“The service provided by Dunstan was the best option for us, with skilled staff providing seamless continuation of service following Covid-19 lockdown, and it is an excellent example of regional co-operation.”