Skin clinic raises MRI funds

6528283WIN-WIN: A skin-check clinic at Bidwill Hospital has raised $1200 for the MRI scanner appeal. Hospital staff, from left, Daphne Fitzgerald, Margaretha van Rooyen, Neil Harding-Roberts and Val Flynn with some of the money raised.
Timaru Herald

Skin-check clinics at Timaru's Bidwill Trust Hospital are benefiting the community in more ways than one. 

Two hundred people paid $5 each to have moles or lesions checked at the clinic on Saturday. Some of those people also gave extra money to the cause, which helped raise $1200 for the MRI scanner appeal. Sixty-nine patients were referred from the clinic to their GP for further checks or treatment, including 19 with "serious concerns". Five surgeons conducted the clinic, taking just a few minutes with each patient. The clinic is usually held every two years.

Hospital manager Val Flynn said the number of people who attended this year's clinic was pleasing, however, attendance was down on the previous year, when 394 took part in 2009. Of those, there were 119 referrals, including 11 listed as serious. "We don't know why the numbers are down [this year], but the sun-smart messages are certainly getting out there." Although the number of overall participants was down, the amount of children who took part was up, she said.

"There were more younger people this time, which is good because it means people are taking notice in changes in their skin."

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