IT'S happening slowly, but it is happening - that's the message of assurance from the drivers of the Naracoorte CT scan appeal.
The Naracoorte "tri committee" overseeing efforts to bring a CT machine to Naracoorte last week held an information meeting to bring stakeholders up to date.
While Naracoorte Area Health Advisory Council chair Barrie Moyle pleased the gathering of 15 people from service clubs and other local organisations when he revealed the running tally for fundraising was up to an impressive $522,000-plus, he was also forced to answer some probing questions on why the project was taking so long.
After giving a thorough outline of what the committee had been doing to advance the project since the last public meeting in October, Mr Moyle was questioned on what was holding it up.
In response, he explained that buying and installing a CT scan presented many complicating issues not apparent to the casual observer.
On top of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, these included negotiating with Country Health SA, finding a potential service provider, ensuring suitable internet speed and power supply and also waiting for the introduction of the new SA Medical Imaging system.
After the meeting, Mr Moyle told the Herald: "The planned commencement of SAMI in mid-2014...sets the timeline to be worked with.
"It is pointless to proceed prior or it may have to be taken apart and redone. We do not need duplication and the inherent potential cost incurred."
Finding a service provider was perhaps the major obstacle, and efforts to achieve that were being hampered by a lack of available data on potential users.
Mr Moyle agreed at the meeting that time was ticking on, but said it was frustrating that because there hadn't been any major developments publicised in recent months, people assumed nothing was happening and the project was stalling.
"People have got hold of the wrong angle (when assuming that) - that just makes it very difficult," he said. "Unless they have the correct information, they just go off on a tangent."
SE rural regional director for Country Health SA Jayne Downs backed Mr Moyle's stance, saying she knew progress was being made, and that correct process was being followed.
"Rest assured that work is being done behind the scenes, and as it should be."
Mr Moyle added: "It's all very well to raise the funds and it gives the community enormous credibility going forward.
"We've almost got the cash right now, but you've got to work with the system or it falls apart."
David Attwood, one of the original instigators of the appeal project and who has produced a business plan for the project, asked for clarity on some issues.
"A lot of people say I'm stirring the pot, but I don't ask a question without a reason," he said.
Mr Attwood asked Mr Moyle to explain the fund's banking procedures - where the funds raised were being kept, who had access to them and whether checks and balances were in place for every dollar raised.
Mr Moyle said the funds were all in a BankSA special interest earning account, could be accessed by four signatories - himself and three hospital staff - and the source of all contributions was acknowledged and carefully recorded.
Asked who would approve expenditure of $10,000 or more for a consultancy fee, if it was decided to go that way, Mr Moyle said it would be the tri committee - "It's not any individual."
Mr Attwood said it was important these and other facts were publicised so the community felt more informed and involved.
"The concern is we need to be more transparent with the community - get a table of events and make sure the community knows what's going on."
Mr Moyle stopped Mr Attwood at that point and argued that the organisers had done whatever possible to keep people informed, including organising a public meeting which drew a crowd of only 30 people despite being heavily publicised.
"I've been challenged on that a few times, and it's irritated me," he said.
Mr Attwood: "We need these sort of meetings, but we need them more often.
"I'm coming up to my third fun run now (raising funds for the scan appeal)...we've got a hell of a good start for an asset for the hospital, and I'm not sure the community knows what we're doing."
"Let me assure you," Mr Moyle responded. "We're working as hard as we can on those things."
Mr Moyle said background work was also continuing on issues such as exactly where in the hospital the CT scan machine could be sited.
Peter Flavel, who had earlier sought detail on why a consultant might be required and how much that might cost, asked what specifically was missing from the business plan that it couldn't be progressed.
Mr Attwood conceded that he hadn't been able to get all the figures he needed on potential users of a CT machine in Naracoorte because of privacy issues.
Ms Downs said there were still many boxes to tick, but taking the completed business plan to potential service providers would be a key. "It is frustrating, I understand that. We are needing a provider, that's the crucial piece."