A friend of mine is applying for a family-sponsored skilled visa for Oz. She waited till she was asked for the meds. Then she went to the nearest Panel Hospital and got the chest x-rays done. Instead of giving her ordinary x-ray plates, they gave her a CD.
Armed with the CG, next she went to the local Panel Doctor. He put the CD in his machine and confirmed that the x-rays are OK. However, he said that DIMA will not accept digital x-rays for manual (ie paper & post) visa applications.
The Panel Doctor phoned the hospital in question. They said they had got rid of the machine which could produce x-ray plates instead of a CD. My friend rang the Australian High Commission in London and asked for their help. They said they were not aware that this particular hospital is no longer able to supply x-ray plates. The AHC rang the hospital and then rang my friend back.
The AHC had sorted the hospital out. Somehow, they were able to produce x-ray plates after all. (Maybe they got a different hospital to print the x-rays on to plates or something - that bit has not been explained.)
Anyway, it is now sorted, but anyone going tor meds any time soon would be well advised to ask the x-ray clinic in advance about whether or not they can print ordinary x-ray plates still. If they say they can't, then consider getting the x-rays done elsewhere, I suggest, because nobody needs this sort of hassle.
Having said that, I believe that it is different with x-rays done in connection with visas applied for on-line, particularly the e-457. I gather that with those, digital x-rays are OK. So there seem to be two different systems running with x-rays, and the x-ray clinics are unlikely to distinguish between different visas. Their inclination will be to do whatever is cheapest for them, and my guess is that digital x-ray results probably cost less to produce than old fashioned plates.