Gisborne Hospital’s MRI to start scanning mid-June

16 June 2013

Tairawhiti District Health chief executive Jim Green announced today that an MRI technician would come from Rotorua three days a week from mid-June to operate the DHBs new magnetic resonance imaging scanner (MRI).

“Although our new MRI was successfully installed at Gisborne Hospital last month, the radiology department had been unable to start scanning because of temporary staffing issues,” said Mr Green.

“We’ve worked really hard to find a solution for Tairawhiti people,” he said, referring to an international recruitment hunt over the past few weeks.

Mr Green said TDH's radiology team search both New Zealand and overseas for an MRI technician, speaking to every DHB and private practice, as well as recruitment agencies and professional bodies.

“Part of the issue in recruitment is that overseas qualifications don’t necessarily translate into a New Zealand practising certificate. The situation is further complicated because TDH has the first install of the Ingenia MRI in New Zealand.”

At the moment, patients requiring urgent MRI are being sent to Rotorua with TDH radiologists involved in the prioritisation process.

“Patients with lesser priority conditions – categorised as P2 – are now being sent out too, in larger volumes – since some of these patients have been waiting for several months.”

Mr Green reminded patients who have been waiting for MRI to return to their GPs if they noticed any deterioration in their condition.

“We’ve also launched a communication programme with our hospital specialists and also with local GPs… asking them to review patients who have been previously referred for MRI, but are still waiting.”

MRI or magnetic resonance imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD. MRI does not use x-rays.

ENDS

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Kathy McVey, Communications Manager

06 869-0500 ext 8115 or 021 223-7094