Whanganui Hospitals radiology department is getting a new lease of life with the purchase of a new ultrasound machine.

The hospital has been advised by GE that the current GE Logiq E9 machine that was purchased in 2010, is now at the end of its life.

At a recent Whanganui District Health Board meeting, members approved the request to purchase a new machine and upgrade one of the current Philip Epiq 5G machines.

A Whanganui District Health Board spokesman said the new ultrasound should have a life of 10 years with regular software upgrades over that time to ensure the quality of scans remains consistent.

"We currently do around 350 ultrasound examinations each month, so a large number of patients will benefit," he said.


Both the Whanganui District Health Board's radiologist and sonographers have formally raised concerns about the image quality deteriorating in recent months, which has lead to the need for a replacement.

Comparison studies between both the newer Philips Epiq and GE Logiq machines also identified significant differences in image quality, proving the Philips Epiq was more efficient.

The radiology department found it would be beneficial having two identical ultrasound machines by replacing the current GE Logiq with a second Phillips Epiq and upgrading the current Philips Epiq.

The total cost for the replacement machine and the software upgrade is $168,575.04, falling within the District Health Board's budget.

The spokesman said the order for the machine has already been placed and the expected delivery and commissioning will be within six to eight weeks.

Aside from this purchase, as part of an equipment upgrade, the hospital acquired a new CT scanner earlier this year at the cost of more than $800,000.

"Radiology staff are delighted with it and see it as a significant boost for patients," he said.