WESTERN Cape MEC for Health, Piet Meyer, officially launched the Groote Schuur Hospital Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit last month.
The unit boasts a state-of-the art Siemens Magnetom Symphony Tesla MRI scanner, which was purchased by the Provincial Administration Department of Health. An identical unit has been installed in Tygerberg Hospital's Radiology Department.
"These units are the first MRI Scanners ever to be installed in state hospitals in the Western Cape and will serve patients from throughout the province and further afield," said Phillipa Johnson of the Public Relations Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital. "Over 60 MRIs are present in private radiology practices throughout South Africa and are mostly inaccessible to state and indigent patients who do not have medical insurance."
Until recently all GSH patients requiring MRI scans were sent to local private radiology practices who offered a generous arrangement allowing state patients to have MRIs at "very reasonable" rates. "This was far from ideal as ill patients had to be transferred by ambulance and time available on private units was limited," said Johnson. The new unit, running at full capacity, services local patients and those from as far afield as the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.