• Hawke's Bay Hospital's 19-year-old MRI scanner in for much-needed upgrade

Hawke's Bay Hospital's 19-year-old MRI scanner in for much-needed upgrade

Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner will have an upgrade this month and a new $1.5 million machine is set to be up and running in early 2023.

General Manager - Hospital, Paula Jones says upgrading the current machine, which was purchased in 2002, will improve image quality for diagnosis and treatment until a new machine arrives and a purpose-built suite is commissioned.

“This upgrade will significantly improve image quality and support diagnosis as well as reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment until Hawke’s Bay has a new state-of-the-art machine in early 2023.”

The MRI scanner will be out of service from Monday, December 6 until Tuesday, December 13 while the upgrade takes place.

During the outage period, the radiology team will use alternative imaging equipment where possible, send acute patients to TRG Imaging at Royston Hospital for an MRI or defer appointments for non-urgent patients.

“In the rare event that we have a patient that needs an emergency MRI scan and hospital staff and facilities to support them, we will transfer them to the appropriate hospital out of the region in consultation with their whānau,” says Mrs Jones.

When the new MRI scanner is commissioned in early 2023, it will offer even better image quality to support more accurate and faster diagnosis and other features to support clinicians and improve patient experience.

The new ‘GE Artist’ MRI scanner has a more patient-friendly design, including a larger bore (opening of the machine where the patient lies), which will improve the experience for people with claustrophobia and increase overall patient comfort.

Hawke’s Bay Hospital has already replaced the fluoroscopy machine and will upgrade its angiography machine and general x-ray rooms in early 2022, which will also improve image quality and reduce the radiation dose for patients and staff.

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