A SECOND MRI scanner has been approved for University Hospital Limerick and will be installed and running before the end of the year.
Currently, there is only one MRI scanner for all public patients in the region’s main hospital, serving the whole of the Mid-West and a population of 473,000 people.
Limerick Fine Gael Senator Maria Byrne has welcomed the news.
At this week’s meeting of the House of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health, Senator Byrne raised her concerns with Health Minister Simon Harris over the availability of MRI scans at UHL.
HSE director of acute operations Liam Woods told the committee members that as part of the HSE’s Winter Programme, University Hospital Limerick is to acquire an MRI scanner within the next two months at a cost of between €1 million to €1.4 million.
“The announcement from the HSE that a second MRI scanner is set to be delivered to University Hospital Limerick before Christmas is very much-welcomed as currently there is only one MRI scanner throughout the whole of the UL Hospital Group, a service that is only provided between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday,” said Senator Byrne.
“Recent figures showed that up to 44 patients were waiting for an MRI scan which is why the requirement of a second MRI serving the people of the Mid-West is long overdue and badly needed to help alleviate overcrowding concerns at the Dooradoyle-based facility
“I am aware of patients being taxied from UHL to Barrington’s Hospital for emergency MRI scans,” Senator Byrne added.