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Surgical Bus’ first day in Waikari a success

DATE: 15 August 2008

SUBJECT: Surgical Bus’ first day in Waikari a success

The Mobile Surgical Bus had a successful first day at the Waikari Medical Centre on Monday 11 August. Five patients on the Canterbury general surgery list received operations.

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), Hurunui Kaikoura Primary Health Organisation (PHO), Mobile Surgical Services and the North Canterbury General Practices have worked together to bring the bus to Waikari.

The mobile surgical bus is run by Mobile Surgical Services (MSS) and funded by the Ministry of Health. It houses a modern operating theatre and telecommunication facilities. The 'bus' travels the length of New Zealand on a five-week cycle, providing low-risk elective day surgery using local and regional health care professionals. The bus can conduct over 300 different elective day surgery procedures, such as hernia repairs, grommet insertions, colonoscopies, varicose veins and gynaecology procedures.

Rural patients have the opportunity to be treated close to home, and the local health professionals who assist each day have the opportunity to share knowledge and gain new skills.

Hurunui Kaikoura PHO Chair, Richard Davison, says, “the surgical bus will benefit rural North Canterbury by providing residents easy access to surgical procedures and local medical staff ‘hands on’ experience. It will also give older people in the area confidence to continue living here, as they will know some surgical procedures can be performed in Waikari."

Margaret Bunker, CDHB Service Portfolio Manager, Secondary Care says that bringing the ‘bus’ to Waikari has been a team effort. The local community, including the Rural Women’s Association have provided support. The CDHB’s Department of Surgery identifies the patients needing surgery in the area and provides their clinical records, while CDHB surgeons and anaesthetists perform the surgeries. Local General Practice nurses provide pre-operative and post-operative care.

The bus has been in Oamaru, Balclutha, and Gore for the remainder of the week. It will return to Waikari in five weeks to complete further procedures.


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