£1.4 million to be spent upgrading MRI scanner
A £1.4 million upgrade on an MRI scanner at the Hospital is due to get under way in May, the Health Department has said.
The works, which are expected to be completed by October, will mean that the Hospital will have two ‘high specification’ MRI scanners by the end of the year.
The Health Department commissioned a new MRI scanner for £2.8 million in January last year, which the department says has a ‘much higher specification’ than the old machine, which was bought in 2007.
However, as one modern scanner is ‘no longer sufficient’ for the Island’s needs, Health has decided to upgrade its old MRI to the same standard as its new machine.
In a statement, the Health Department said: ‘A review of MRI activity (ie the number of scans undertaken), demonstrated that the Island needed two MRI scanners of a modern specification in order to meet the increasing demand for high quality imaging, which is related to our ageing and growing population.
‘It is also important in an island setting to have a second MRI scanner for resilience, so that the service keeps running when maintenance is required or unforeseen breakdowns occur, and patients don’t have to wait for parts to arrive from the UK.’
The statement said that the ‘cost-effective solution’ was to rebuild the old MRI scanner and upgrade it to the same specification as the new. The work is due to start in May.
The statement added: ‘Reusing the existing magnet lowers the capital costs and greatly reduces the environmental impact.
‘Funding was approved from the States of Jersey capital equipment monies, supported by £1 million of gift fund donations from three beneficiaries to whom we are also very grateful. The 2019 upgrade within the current facility is projected to cost £1.4 million.’
The new MRI scanner, which came into use last January, cost £2.8 million. It was jointly funded from the States capital programme and an anonymous donation of £750,000.
The Health Department statement said: ‘The new MRI scanner provides enhanced image quality, advanced clinical capabilities and efficient workflow.’
The department said that the current waiting time for a routine MRI was 12 weeks.