NSW latest tamworth Hospital to introduce new PET scan service

Tamworth Hospital will be home to a new $2 million PET (positron emission tomography) scanner, allowing patients in the New England region to access this important diagnostic imaging service closer to home.

PET scans are a highly specialised and complex form of nuclear medicine imaging modality, used to detect cancers, as well as to assess brain or heart related conditions.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said the PET scan is a welcome addition, and thanked the local community for their ongoing advocacy.

“The NSW Government is committed to improving health services in rural and regional NSW. The inclusion of this service at Tamworth Hospital will significantly enhance the care provided to patients throughout the north-west part of the state,” Mr Park said.

“Facing a diagnosis, such as cancer, is stressful for patients and their families. Having access to this imaging service closer to home will reduce the burden of travel for these patients and allow them to remain supported within their local community.

“Local representatives have been calling for a PET scanner for some time, and I’m pleased this announcement is one of the first things I’m able to do as Health Minister,” Mr Park said.

Patients across Hunter New England Local Health District currently travel to John Hunter Hospital or Calvary Mater Newcastle to access PET scans. While some patients with complex needs may still have to travel, the new service will benefit the many communities in and around Tamworth.

A capital works program will soon commence to prepare the space for installation. This includes construction of lead lined walls and a lab for handling of the radioactive isotopes required to operate the machine.

Construction will be completed later this year with the service expected to be operational before the end of 2023.

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