Dr Phophi Ramathuba, MEC for Health, stands next to the new scanning machine she handed over to the Tshilidzini Hospital.
Brand new state-of-the-art scanning and diagnosing equipment was installed at Tshilidzini Hospital. The new equipment will make it possible for the hospital staff to do advanced scans in a matter of minutes. The technology also enables medical personnel, just like the experts in the cities, to assist in the diagnosis and the effective treatment of patients.
The new machines were officially handed over by the Limpopo Department of Health last Monday (16th). They included a Computerised Tomography (CT) Scanner, equipped with a picture, archiving and communication system (PACS). Four such machines were bought at a cost of R50 million and installed at Tshilidzini, Letaba, Polokwane and Mankweng.
The new technology will make life a lot easier for patients from the Vhembe District who, up till now, had to be transferred to Polokwane to get the necessary scanning done.
The MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, handed over the new equipment. She was joined by the vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, the Thulamela local mayor, Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango, and the executive mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality, Cllr Dowelani Nenguda.
Dr Ramathuba said the initiative would not only save costs but would also reduce the time for doctors and professional staff to conclude their diagnoses and commence treatment in time to save lives. According to Dr Ramathuba, the PAC/RIS system will also enable radiologists to guide staff at these peripheral hospitals.
“We are mainly a rural province with limited resources, especially skilled medical specialists. We have to be innovative and use technology to accelerate health-care delivery and accessibility to the most marginalized part of our society. Rural communities will no longer have to spend countless hours to drive to and from the Pietersburg Hospital for scans and clinicians. They will now wait only minutes to get reports from radiologists,” Dr Ramathuba said.
Prof Marwala said the time had come for technology to work to decrease the time and work done by people. He further said they now needed more medical engineers, so that they could service and maintain the newly acquired machines.
Date:26 November 2020 - By: Silas Nduvheni