Broadway Radiology

FAQ

X-rays and Radiation Safety

X-ray examinations provide valuable information about your health and play an important role in helping you doctor make an accurate diagnosis.  In some cases x-rays are used to assist with the placement of tubes or other devices in the body and to assist in orthopaedic and other kinds of surgery.

What are x-rays?

X-rays are a form of radiant energy, like light or radio waves.  Unlike light, x-rays can penetrate the body, which allows images of the internal structures to be produced with x-ray equipment.

Are x-rays safe?

As with other medical procedures, x-rays are safe when used with care.  Radiologists and x-ray Technologists have been trained to use the minimum amount of radiation necessary to obtain the needed results.  The amount of radiation used in most examinations is very small and the benefits greatly outweigh the risk of harm.

Does radiation remain after an x-ray examination?

No.  X-rays are produced only when a switch is momentarily turned on.  As with visible light, no radiation remains after the switch is turned off.

Is there a limit to the number of x-rays I can have?

The decision to have an x-ray is a medical one, based on the likelihood of benefit from the examination and the potential risk from radiation.  For low dose examinations, such as general x-rays this is usually an easy decision.  For higher dose examinations such as CT scans and those involving the use of contrast materials (dyes) such as barium or iodine your doctor may want to consider your past medical history and previous exposure to x-rays.

Should I have an x-ray if I am pregnant?

Only if your doctor has determined that they are necessary.  In most x-ray examinations the dose to the foetus is quite small.  Special techniques can be used to reduce foetal exposure even further, for example, a lead apron can be placed over your abdomen to protect the foetus if the x-rays are being obtained of  your chest, arms, legs or head.  If you think you might be pregnant, tell your doctor so an informed decision can be made.

Which radiological examinations use x-rays?

Although ultrasound and MRI are typical examinations performed in radiology neither of these procedures use x-rays.  Diagnostic examinations that use x-rays include general radiography (plain x-rays), mammography, Computerised Tomography (CT), and fluoroscopy.

For more information about radiation in medical use and the environment see the
National Radiation Laboratory’s website at
www.nrl.moh.govt.nz.

 


Other FAQs

Do I need a referral?

Almost always. You must be referred by a doctor for all examinations, with the exception of Bone Densitometry (DEXA) scanning which you may have without a referral from your doctor.  Other situations when a doctor’s referral is not necessary are when the Immigration Service requires a chest x-ray for Immigration applications, and if ACC request x-rays in relation to a claim for an injury that you have lodged with them.

Do I need to make an appointment?

For general x-rays it is not necessary to make an appointment.
For all other examinations an appointment is required.

What are your hours of business?

Broadway Radiology and Central MRI are open from 8.00 am – 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.  Some examinations are only performed at specific times of the day, or by specific staff members so you will be given an appointment time to suit.  General x-rays are performed from 8.00 am until 5.00 pm daily, so you can arrive at a time to suit you.

City Health X-Ray is open from 8.00 am until 10.00 pm daily, including weekends and Public Holidays.  City Health X-Ray performs general x-rays only.

What should I wear to my appointment?

You will be advised of any specific requirements at the time of your booking, some examinations require you to change into a gown, and the removal of any jewellery or metal objects which may impair the images.

What happens to my films after my examination?

We no longer produce films for most examinations, as images are now stored digitally. If you wish to obtain a copy of your examination for your own records you may purchase a CD with a copy of your images on it.  We will arrange for your referring doctor to access your images if required.

When will I get the results?

Depending on how your referring doctor receives their reports from us (this may be electronically, by fax or by mail) the results may be available the same day.  If not, they are generally available the day following your examination.  If your condition requires urgent medical attention, we will advise your doctor immediately.  MRI reports do take a little longer, the results will be with your doctor two days after your examination.

You may ask the Technologist or Sonographer that performs your examination any questions you wish to at the time of your examination.

When will I have to pay an ACC surcharge?

For x-rays performed under ACC a surcharge of $40.00 will be charged.  This surcharge is waived if you have a Community Service Card.

For ultrasounds performed under ACC a surcharge of $50.00 is charged.  This applies to all ultrasounds under ACC irrespective of whether or not you have a Community Services Card.

These co-payments are charged because the rebates received from ACC do not reflect the costs of performing the examination.

Do I pay a surcharge for pregnancy scans, I thought maternity care was free?

No, we no longer charge a surcharge for any of our pregnancy ultrasounds.

Can I bring somebody with me for my appointment?

Yes, you can bring support people with you if you wish to.  For x-rays it is usually not safe to have others in the room with you, but for ultrasound procedures your support person/people may go into the room with you.  It is worth remembering that your ultrasound examination is a technical procedure requiring a great deal of concentration from the Sonographer, so consideration from your support people is required.

Do I have to pay my account on the day of my examination?

We prefer that your account is paid at the time of service.  If this is not possible, you are welcome to make arrangements to pay it at a later date, or to pay it off in instalments.  You should contact our Accounts Administrator in our Accounts Department if you have any account enquiries.

Will you forward my account to my Medical Insurer?

We are an Affiliated Provider with Southern Cross Healthcare, so if you are having a CT or MRI scan and are insured with Southern Cross, we will take care of the claim for you. If you have a policy with other health insurers which covers your radiology treatment, you are welcome to submit the invoice to your insurer for payment. We will note this on your file so that no action is taken on accounts lodged with your medical insurer, but the responsibility of submitting the account is yours.

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Helpful Tips

Service Costs

We have a detailed outline of our costs which are available from this link. We are also happy to quote prices for CT and MRI scans or any other examinations not listed, upon request.


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