Mobile surgical bus celebrates 15 years on the roadSave
By Kaysha Brownlie
It may look almost like any other truck - but inside there's an operating theatre.
More than 21335 people have been operated onboard - in 24 different towns.
New Zealand's mobile surgical "bus" has just celebrated 15 years' serving rural communities - where accessing health care can often present with issues.
"Steerologist," or driver, Gavin Hurring, says those issues are often: "Where am I going to park, do we have to get a motel for the night... have to take two days off work, whereas we come to them."
Mr Hurring has been driving the "bus" since day one.
He's also responsible for its deployment, ensuring onboard systems can safely support the mobile theatre - and manning what he calls, "the Mudguard Cafe". This is when the medical team, from time-to-time, are treated to a cooked lunch and Mr Hurring sets up an electric frying pan outside next to the truck's wheels.
"Nickname Cinderella - making lunch, first two questions of the day are have you made the coffee and what's for lunch," he says.
Previously, Mr Hurring hadn't ventured north of Dunedin - but, within 21 days - he'd driven the length of the country.
"I could just about tell you where every pot-hole in New Zealand is."