Byron Bay gets radiology clinic
HEALTH services in Byron Bay will take a giant leap forward with the opening of a new radiology clinic in the town on Monday.
It will introduce the first CAT scan technology to the area, as well as offering mammograms, sophisticated bone density testing, every form of ultrasound, including of the heart, and even biopsies – meaning thatlocals will not be forced to travel for a range of examinations.
“There has never been a CAT scan in Byron Shire,” said Tony Bennett, who founded Advanced Radiology Clinics (ARC), which is setting up the centre.
Women will be perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the new facility.
Since the withdrawal of the breast screening van in late 2008, they have had to travel to Tweed Heads or Lismore to be examined.
ARC has incorporated a sister company, named Byron Bay Breast Imaging, which will be able to perform ‘all examinations', Mr Bennett said.
“It is our belief that a permanent mammogram service is long overdue. It is almost unbelievable that mammograms are not available in Byron Bay,” he said.
Another first is the machine to measure bone density – crucial for those suffering from osteoporosis.
Mr Bennett grew up in Lismore and said he had ‘always wanted to get back to where I came from'.
ARC has one other clinic, in Kingscliff, and prides itself on being small and personal.
“We're not a corporation. We're owned locally by technicians with the collaboration of the specialists, which makes for a fantastic experience for patients,” he said.
Mr Bennett is a sonographer by training – a specialist in ultrasound – and will work alongside other local technicians in the new business.
He said that the CAT scan was a ‘phenomenal tool', and he was in talks with Byron District Hospital to work towards providing some sort of collaborative emergency service for accident victims.