Ministry plans to replace MRI machine

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya during break outside Parliament yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THE Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan machine at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Suva is eight years old and the health ministry is planning to replace it in the next two years.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete revealed this in Parliament on Tuesday, adding that normally for machines such as the biomedical equipment, the ministry tried to replace it within 14 years.

Dr Waqainabete said the MRI machine was a diagnostic tool that complemented the other diagnostic tools.

He said before a MRI machine was brought in, diagnosis was carried out by the CT scanner.

“We are very keen on continuing to develop the MRI machine that we have in Suva, we also ensure that referrals to the MRI machine are only by specialists because certainly, we need to ensure that it is actually the right diagnostic for the right patient,” he said.

“So only a specialist can be able to make bookings or make referrals to an MRI.”

He said on August 13 this year, the MRI machine had developed some technical issues and the ministry had alerted the supplier through its locally based engineer.

“The engineer from New Zealand and the supplier, through the supplier came over and they identified that the Radio Frequency Ablation, Radio Frequency Amplifier Component was an issue and the parts were ordered.”

He said tests were then done on August 23 and the MRI machine resumed its services on August 26.

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