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Minister of Health to Open High-Tech Imaging Suite

Thursday 24 February 2005

Minister of Health to Open High-Tech Imaging Suite

Minister of Health Annette King will be at Gisborne Hospital today [Thursday 24 February] to officially open the new High-Tech Imaging Suite.

The Suite contains the new CT and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanners.

Tairawhiti District Health Clinical Support Services Group Manager Wilhelmina Mentz said she was thrilled Ms King had accepted the invitation to open the facility.

“I think her acceptance just reinforces for me the importance of the Suite and especially the MRI scanner. The potential diagnostic ability of this MRI is endless.”

Tairawhiti District Health first decided it would try and acquire an MRI scanner around four years ago.

Around 300 MRI scans on Tairawhiti people are done outside the district every year.

“By having a scanner in Gisborne it can make having a scan far less stressful and or emotional experience for the patient. Travel and being away from friends and family are no longer part of the process.”

Former Clinical Support Services Group Manager Brian Cowper will also be at the opening of the Suite.

“Brian was a driving force behind making the MRI a reality. It was his tenacity and doggedness that led to the involvement of both Trusts that have helped us,” Ms Mentz said.

Ms Mentz said there had been an enormous amount of community support for the scanner including fund raising and donations from local trusts, organisations and individuals.

HB Williams Turanga Trust bought the scanner with funding from the James Cook Charitable (Health) Trust and then leased it to TDH.

Financial contributors to the James Cook Charitable (Health) Trust include Contact Energy, Lion Foundation, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Eastland Community Trust and the JN Williams Memorial Trust.

The MRI scanner was installed into the High-Tech Imaging Suite on 1 December 2004. Referrals for MRI scans have already started and the first patients were scanned on 21 February. Ms Mentz said the MRI scanner produces images of everything inside the body.

“More than just bones and organs, the MRI can produce images of solids, to tissue, and fluid. It is the closest you can get to obtaining a slice by slice view of a body without having to cut it.”

The CT scanner, which produces images of the body similar to that of an x-rays, is also housed in the High-Tech Imaging Suite, which has been built between Radiology and the Day Ward.

Health Minister Annette King and other invited guests will officially open the High-Tech Imaging Suite at 10am in the Gisborne Hospital Chapel. Invited guests will then be able to walk through a portion of High-Tech Imaging Suite and view the MRI machine.


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