New equipment keeps doctors busy

New equipment at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre has kept doctors busier than ever and Dr. Hilgard Goosen could not be happier.

Dr. Hilgard Goosen poses with Ada Ashton

Dr. Hilgard Goosen poses with Ada Ashton

New equipment at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre has kept doctors busier than ever and Dr. Hilgard Goosen could not be happier.

The hospital Ladies Auxiliary that runs the gift shop and other fundraisers bought a $35,000 colonoscope that has kept Goosen busy. “I am told that we are the second busiest endoscopy unit after Red Deer.”

There are now two scopes in Ponoka and he sees this as another way to ensure patients are healthy.

“It’s about cancer prevention,” said Goosen.

The colonoscope is used to inspect the inside of a colon and rectum using a long tube and camera equipment. Doctors can get a clear visual of the area through a monitor and can take samples of polyps for study.

This new piece of equipment was complemented with a gastroscope purchased by the Ponoka and District Health Foundation that manages funds donated or raised for bettering the hospital. Goosen feels the busier the hospital gets the more funds will come to support the centre. “So now we can make more procedures in a day.”

The care centre is also one of the few conducting quality controlled colonoscopies under a program by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. Patients take a questionnaire on detection, patient experience and satisfaction.

“We are very evidence-based,” says Lisa Barrett, manager of acute care at the hospital.

Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of patients are from the Ponoka area but patients from Lacombe, Wetaskiwin and Rimbey have also taken the test.

“Our wait time is very short now,” said Goosen. “If it’s an emergency I can usually get people in within a week or two.”

His goal is to continue providing high quality endoscopy services to patients. The Ladies Auxiliary wants to keep providing needed items to the hospital and Barrett welcomes their help. “I really think this is an excellent service for the community.”

Dorothy Ungstad, president of the auxiliary, is proud of the 2,000 volunteer hours a year the group puts in at the gift shop and for the other fundraiser they conduct to raise funds for the hospital. “They do a lot of work.”

For her a patient’s care and comfort are important. Ungstad wants them to be able to have treatment locally.

Co-president Irene Rausch enjoys meeting different people in the community at the gift shop and she wants to see good care at the hospital. “Just to continue patient comfort and care.”

Ada Ashton, chairperson of the foundation, is proud of the support they have been able to provide in conjunction with the Ladies Auxiliary. Her job is to ensure funds donated go to the right place. “Money that’s made in the community stays in the community.”