BREAKING: Gov’t looking into getting MRI machine

By Admin. Updated 8:16 p.m., Friday, January 14, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is looking into getting an MRI machine as it seeks to continue to improve the country’s health care system.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, while delivering the wrap up address on the debate of the 2022 Appropriations Bill in Parliament on Friday, said securing an MRI machine is being looked into.

His comments came as he was listing a number of budgeted health care initiatives, including the planned procurement of another CT Scan machine, this time for the Modern Medical Complex at Georgetown, and repairs to the facility due to the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.

According to the UK’s National Health Services, An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan. An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body, including the: brain and spinal cord, bones and joints.

The issue of the need for an MRI machine was amplified when it was announced last year (2021) that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, after receiving a head injury at a protest, had to be flown to neighbouring Barbados to conduct an MRI scan.

According to the Heartland Images, MRI machines are expensive to buy and install.

THE COST OF INSTALLING AND MAINTAINING MRI MACHINES IN US DOLLARS

“While some low-field MRI machines can cost as little as $150,000, typical prices range from $1 million to as high as $3 million for a single, state-of-the-art, high-powered MRI machine that can deliver the most detailed results,” Heartland Images states on it website.

The investment for the facility doesn’t end there, Heartland Images says, adding that “MRI machines must be installed in magnetically sterile clean rooms that eliminate outside interference while protecting people and property outside the room from the magnetic fields. This can push the installation cost alone up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“This led Money magazine to estimate that the total cost of purchasing and installing an MRI machine in a dedicated suite runs from $3 million to $5 million, an investment that must be recouped over the lifetime of the machine. And again, that’s for one single MRI machine,” Heartland Images added.

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