On Tuesday, 3 September, President Jacob Zuma officially opened the new Dr Harry Surtie Hospital in Upington. This hospital replaces the old Gordonia Hospital in Upington, and features state-of-the-art medical equipment, including a Lodox Xmplar-dr full-body, low-dose X-ray scanner. In fact, this scanner is the very first Lodox Xmplar-dr off the production line, and the first Xmplar-dr installation in the world. The X-ray scanner was installed at the end of 2013 and has been in use since then.
Upington lies on the N10, a major route to Namibia, and the N14, another major route in the Northern Cape. This new hospital serves not only Upington and the immediate rural area, but also a larger catchment area in the Northern Cape. The next large town with good and advanced medical facilities is Kimberley, over 400 km to the south-east, some 5 ½ hours by road. By having a full-body scanner, the hospital is able to image serious polytrauma cases in a short time so that further treatment can be planned quickly and efficiently. A recent case, where multiple patients from a motor vehicle accident involving a bakkie (pick-up truck) were scanned and treated promptly, illustrates the value of having a scanner for rapid imaging in the trauma unit.