Expectant mothers were being advised to go elsewhere for ultrasound scans at the Tamworth Base Hospital recently, as patients faced a waiting list up to four weeks long.
It is not just pregnant women that have to endure the wait, but anyone that is in need of the technology, such as for soft tissue injuries, although some expectant mothers are already facing an anxious time and can’t afford to wait that long for a scheduled check-up.
The alternatives in Tamworth are the privately owned businesses such as Castlereagh Imaging and Tamworth Medical Imaging, although those services involve a fee with most patients left between $130 and $140 out of pocket.
A Hunter New England Health spokesperson last week said that they are monitoring demand on the service and will implement further measures to combat wait times if required.
“Due to unexpected circumstances and high demand there is currently a four week wait for an outpatient ultrasound appointment at Tamworth Hospital,” the spokesperson said at the time.
“We appreciate the patience of members of the community who are accessing our ultrasound service and assure them we are working to reduce the current waiting time.”
On Friday, HNEH confirmed they have addressed the wait lists for a scan, although were unable to confirm what the current wait times are.
“Appointments for ultrasounds are allocated in order of clinical priority. Inpatient and emergency ultrasounds are done as soon as they required, there is no delay for these services,” the spokesperson said. For routine pregnancy ultrasounds, every effort is being made to ensure the ultrasound can be performed within the required time frame. If this is not possible, alternative arrangements will be made for the woman to have their ultrasound. We are pleased that we have now been able to address this and are working hard to ensure all patients are receiving a timely appointment.”