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Getting under your skin .. Dr Tim Gardner uses the Kurow Medical Centre's new ultrasound machine, a M-Turbo Soneset tool, on his colleague and wife Juliet Gardner. PHOTO: SHANNON GILLIES

As many as 70 people have undergone ultrasound treatment at Kurow Medical Centre since a new ultrasound machine, a M-Turbo Soneset tool, was introduced by the practice in April.

The machine cost about $36,5000.

Originally, one of the centre’s doctors, Tim Gardner, was going to buy the piece of equipment himself, but Waitaki Valley Medical, one of the governing bodies of the practice, stepped in and contributed about $26,500 and a grant from Meridian paid for the rest.

Practice manager Juliet Gardner said the machine was producing savings for patients both in terms of time travelling and money.

“They don’t have to go to the hospital. At the moment, the waiting time at Oamaru Hospital emergency department is four to six hours.”

The machine had already picked up deep vein thrombosis in two patients.

“We were able to put them on medication straight away. The quicker we can treat somebody, the safer the outcome.”

Dr Gardner said the machine not only provided far more accuracy than an X-ray, but it also produced more information.

The machine was portable which allowed him to take it to clinics outside of Kurow and medical callouts within the area.