NZ's mobile surgical bus gets major upgrades

  • 14/12/2017
The Mobile Surgical Bus in action in Gore.
The Mobile Surgical Bus in action in Gore.

The national surgical bus is looking for a significant upgrade next year to keep up with demand and new technology.

The bus is looking to get cutting-edge new technology to help district health boards cope when they are under pressure and to assist in smaller towns and rural areas.

"We will be introducing an online interactive learning system and we will also be helping a nationwide stocktake of telehealth and all the facilities for the benefit of all Kiwis," chief executive Mark Eager said.

"We are making substantial bright new changes next year but also continuing with our mobile surgical bus all over New Zealand."

The bus saved $2 million a year in each town on capital costs, compared to if they had to build facilities from scratch, Mr Eager said.

The vehicle celebrated its 15-year anniversary earlier this year after more than 21,300 operations in 24 towns.

Its mobile operating theatre marked its first day of surgery at Te Puia Springs, 100km north of Gisborne, back on March 8, 2002.

An independent health consultants report has found up to 300 patients annually would probably miss out on surgery if was not for the mobile surgical unit.

It receives $4m annually from the Ministry of Health.