No, that is not a time machine at Oamaru Hospital.

But it is a new ultrasound machine that has brought the hospital 10 years into the present.

With funding received from the Oamaru Licensing Trust through The Lion Foundation and The Healthcare Otago Charitable Trust, the hospital received its new machine last week.

Sonographer Sue Perniskie was thrilled with the new equipment.

“It’s far superior,” Mrs Perniskie said.

“We desperately needed an upgrade.”

The hospital’s previous machine was approaching 10-years-old and was on its last legs.

The new “top-of-the line” machine provided information in much better detail and increased the scope of what sonographers could examine – especially for obstetrics, offering better growth measurements.

And it was not just for pregnant people.

“It is benefiting everyone,” she said.

“We are looking right through to children, [abdominal] pain, pelvic pain, muscular, skeletal, obstetrics – so it’s right through the whole scope of the community.”

Another benefit of the new machine was maintaining the locality of its service.

“Without it, people would be travelling to Dunedin for all their imaging.”

Mrs Perniskie said ultrasound machines were becoming increasingly used for diagnostic purposes.

“It’s being used more and more.

“Ultrasound services are really stretched, right through New Zealand.”

Imaging recorded by the Oamaru machine would link up to Dunedin’s Pacific Radiology for consult, meaning results would come back in about 10 minutes.

OLT president Ali Brosnan said the trust was owned by the community and the funds generated in the licensing trust benefited the community.

“A lot of people don’t understand that .. and here we are being able to provide real needed funds into the wider community,” Mr Brosnan said.

“It’s quite satisfying to be able to see it going to really good use.”