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High Tech Imaging Suite for MRI Under Construction

Thursday 2 September 2004

High Tech Imaging Suite for MRI Under Construction

Diggers and trucks will be driving across a Gisborne Hospital corridor this week when construction begins on a home for a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.

An internal courtyard has been selected for the site of a High-Tech Imaging Suite, which will house Tairawhiti District Health’s new MRI machine and CT Scanner.

Access to the internal open-air courtyard has been an intriguing challenge for building company City Construction, said City Construction Project Manager Noel Holden.

“There is no vehicle access to the interior courtyard, so we have had to make a hole from the outside of the hospital, through a glass corridor, and into the courtyard.”

Mr Holden said enough glass had to be removed so the hole was big enough for diggers and trucks to get through to the other side.

“It’s going to be quite a bizarre thing to see – heavy machinery moving across the corridor into an internal grassed area!”

Tairawhiti District Health Group Manager Clinical Support Services Wilhelmina Mentz said during construction, staff, patients, and visitors to Gisborne Hospital, are asked for their patience, as the corridor running between the Neonatal Unit and the Outpatients Department will be inaccessible.

“There will also be some parking restrictions within the horseshoe area outside the hospital’s main entrance.”

Construction on the High-Tech Imaging Suite is expected to take five months.

“The magnets used in an MRI machine are very powerful therefore the machine must be housed in a protective room – in this case, the new Imaging Suite,” said Ms Mentz.

She said design and layout of the suite has been painstakingly reviewed by TDH’s radiologists and radiographers, as well as Auckland-based engineering staff with experience in MRI installation.

In April this year TDH agreed to enter into an operational lease agreement for a new MRI machine with the James Cook Charitable Health Trust.

The benefits of an MRI are that patients won’t have to travel outside of the district for a scan. Currently around 300 local people have to do so each year.

“It will also assist with recruitment as it will make Gisborne Hospital more attractive for radiographers and radiologists,” Ms Mentz said.

The large MRI machine is expected to be shifted into the Imaging Suite in January 2005.

Ms Mentz said the construction site is smoke free in accordance with Tairawhiti District Health’s (TDH) smoke free environment policy.


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