1000th patient boards surgical bus

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Jacob Gardyne had the honour recently of being the 1000th patient visiting the surgical bus at Gore Hospital.
Jacob (5) and his sister Bella Gardyne (6) were the 1000th and 999th patients respectively.
Gore Hospital chief executive Karl Metzler and staff recently celebrated the milestone.
Since the surgical bus started visiting Gore it only had six patients out of the 1000 that needed further hospital treatment.
Mr Metzler said having the surgical bus visit fitted well with the philosophy of providing medical treatments close to home.
In particular, he said the provision of dental services had a host of positive benefits.
It took pressure off the Invercargill dental services, provided quick, convenient treatment for Gore district residents and resulted in a decrease in lost productivity from people taking time off work, Mr Metzler said.
Services such as dental, plastic surgery, ear nose and throat and scoping procedures were undertaken by the surgical bus.
The bus only undertook day procedures, he said.
The service started visiting Gore in 2002 and had an average of 7.6 patients visiting the bus each time it came to Gore.
“It’s absolutely world class,” Mr Metzler said.
Gore Hospital nurse Tracey McDonough, who organised the pre-op clinic for patients and worked on the mobile unit, said attendance by patients was excellent.
People could attend the pre-op clinic between 3pm and 6pm on the allotted day which suited people who worked, Mrs McDonough said.
The surgical bus visited Gore every five weeks except in June when it was out of action for maintenance, she said.
Making sure patients understood the procedure they were booked in for was at the top of the list for Mrs McDonough.
“It’s a service we’re happy to provide,” she said.
The surgical bus is run by Mobile Health, a privately owned company that works in partnership with the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards and other health providers to deliver low-risk elective day surgery to rural New Zealanders.