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City hospital gets new MRI machine

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The new machine will also ease and accelerate the workload of medical professionals

TEST RUN: A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine has been procured and installed at the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital. Picture: Supplied

THE ROBERT Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley has, as part of the Northern Cape Department of Health’s drive to improve health care services in the Northern Cape, procured a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

The provincial Department of Health spokesperson, Lebogang Majaha, said yesterday that the previous MRI machine, which was installed in 2005, had reached its lifespan and had to be replaced.

“Due to the accelerated advancement in technology the old MRI was not compatible with software upgrades which are needed for modern diagnosis. The new MRI will improve quality of diagnosis especially for neurological (spinal and brain) and orthopaedic (bones and joints) imaging. The advanced image quality will minimise the use of contrast media, thereby reducing any potential risk to patients from allergic reactions,” said Majaha.

He added that the new machine will also ease and accelerate the workload of medical professionals.

“The new system will greatly improve workflow because the image sequences and scan times will be shorter, thus making this a more comfortable and safer modality with less noise and discomfort.

Majaha said that training on the machine had already started.

“The four radiographers started their theoretical training on the machine and performed the practical test run and one of our staff volunteered to be the ‘guinea pig’ for the first brain scan. The Image of his brain was completed successfully and we are pleased to say all was in working order.

“The MRI radiographers were impressed with the quality and detail of the images. But they were especially impressed with the shorter time needed for a scan. This will really benefit vulnerable patients, especially children and the elderly.”

Majaha said that the clinical handing over of the MRI machine will take place before the end of December this year.

Majaha added that the procurement of the new MRI machine was an indication of the MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong’s commitment towards increasing access to high-quality care in all hospitals in the Province.