Clearer picture of digestive system issues in Alexandra
‘If I can’t get it done in Alexandra, I won’t get it done at all,’ Dr Puneet Mahindra says is the most common response when referring patients to metropolitan health services.
Dr Mahindra is a gastroenterologist at Alexandra District Health. He treats diseases and disorders of the digestive system.
This includes being trained in using gastroscopy and colonoscopy equipment – which involves passing a tiny video camera through parts of a patient’s digestive system.
Without the latest medical equipment available at Alexandra District Health, and patients unwilling or unable to travel, it was harder to diagnose and treat digestive conditions, explains Dr Mahindra.
Even when patients were willing to make the trip, it was a tiring and expensive undertaking. Dr Mahindra gives the example of an elderly patient who required regular surveillance endoscopies in Melbourne.
The five-hour round trip from their home in the Hume region made the routine checks an arduous task for the patient. A relative accompanying him was also losing a day’s wages for every trip.