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New MRI scanner to help bring improved health outcomes

MEDIA RELEASE

07 November 2016

New MRI scanner to help bring improved health outcomes to the district

Patients can expect faster scans and better quality images with the installation of a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner at the Dunedin Hospital in the coming weeks.

The new MRI scanner - a GE Optima MR450 W 1.5 Tesla – will help improve imaging and diagnosis and will have a positive impact on health outcomes in the district, says Southern DHB Director of Radiology, Dr Christine Vetter.

“MRI scans are an essential diagnostic tool in many areas of healthcare,” Dr Vetter explains. “Dunedin Hospital’s new MRI scanner will deliver faster scans and higher contrast images. This will help improve the ability of clinicians and other healthcare providers to make diagnoses and plan treatments for their patients.”

Replacing the current MRI machine and installing the new scanner will begin on Wednesday 9 November and is expected to take five weeks to complete. The scanner being replaced was installed in 2003 and is at the end of its expected useful lifespan.

The new scanner has a larger central hole and is therefore more comfortable for patients to go through, and will improve their experience. It also offers greater ease of use for technicians operating the machines.

“The medical community throughout the district is excited to have this new technology available,” says Chris Fleming, Interim CEO of the Southern DHB. “Over the years, there’s been considerable growth in demand for MRI scans from both hospital and community-based healthcare providers and our new MRI scanner will help ensure the Southern DHB continues to provide the best care possible.”

Plans are in place to minimize the impact of replacing the MRI scanner and to accommodate patients during the replacement period. In recent weeks, wait-list patients have been scanned during extra evening and weekend clinics, while arrangements have been made for patients to be scanned at other sites, including Southland Hospital and by private providers in Dunedin, or using other imaging methods when appropriate. Support has been offered by other DHBs for acute MRI scanning should it be required.

“We’re well-prepared for this short period of transition and we look forward to the benefits afforded by the new technology,” Mr Fleming says.


ENDS


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