New machine opens up access for cancer patients and medical students
After vigorous fundraising efforts by the Illawarra Cancer Carers, staff specialists and the business community, Wollongong Hospital now has an endoscopic ultrasound machine.
It will ensure that Illawarra cancer sufferers receive care as good as anywhere in the country.
The $350,000 machine opens up procedure options to cancer patients that were previously only available in Sydney.
While demonstrating the machines capabilities at a special unveiling this week, Dr Claudia Rogge, staff specialist at Wollongong Hospital, talked about the different techniques that the endoscopic ultrasound machine employed and how development of skills in this area would have far-reaching benefits.
She highlighted how not only care options would be increased but how the machine would open up extensive training options for University of Wollongong clinicians and students.
The machine itself requires specialist operation and for areas of UOW including the Graduate School of Medicine and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research institute (IHMRI), this is expected to bring about great opportunities in the areas of clinical trials, research and teaching.
A small ultrasound device is installed on the tip of an endoscope, which is a lighted, flexible tube with a camera attached.
By inserting the endoscope and camera into the upper or lower digestive tract, the doctor is able to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of organs.
Professor Noel Tait from the Graduate School of Medicine attended the unveiling of the machine and said that it was “crucial in giving UOW an equal footing with other university hospitals”.
He said the two most important interfaces it would open up for UOW staff and students were teaching and research and this would have huge ramifications in improving health services in the Illawarra.
Illawarra Cancer Carers member Keith Wilson presented a plaque to Wollongong Hospital to commemorate the unveiling and said it was a cause very close to his heart.
Those attending the unveiling heard how the dedication of the Cancer Carers team in raising $200,000 towards the purchasing of the machine would change not only patient care but the education of an array of medical staff in the Illawarra.
The first patient to benefit from the new machine is scheduled for today (Friday 8 February).
By: Kimberly Twist