Patients undergoing MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans at Cairns Hospital will have a far more relaxing, tropical experience thanks to a new $2 million machine.
The hospital is in the process of installing a state-of-the-art T3 Siemens VIDA MRI to replace its aging 10-year-old machine.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the new MRI will offer faster sequencing, improved image quality, and less patient stress during examinations.
“MRI scans can be intimidating or scary, particularly for people who have a fear of being in a closed space,” Mr Miles said.
“The new machine is faster and has a projector that can play videos for children.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said he thought it can only be a good thing for people facing medical challenges to sit in a calm and relaxed tropical environment.
“Works on the MRI room have been completed, with the installation of a new skylight with a tropical rainforest scene to provide a more relaxing environment for patients,” Mr Healy said.
Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service Director of Medical Imaging, Dru Locos, said the spectacular addition to the MRI room was all about enhancing the patient experience.
“”We’re hoping it helps calm people,” she said.
“For our patients, it just helps take their mind off things.”
“The new machine uses specialised software that allows specific diagnostics on body system conditions, including neurology, angiography, breast, oncology, paediatric, and cardiac,” he said.
“There is also potential for scientific applications with the new machine.”
He said the existing MRI machine at Cairns Hospital was 10 years old and had performed more than 40,000 examinations.
“The replacement of the MRI machine is part of the hospital technology replacement lifecycle,” he said.
The machine replacement started at the end of May and is expected to be completed within the next week.
During this period, MRI services across the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service have been supported via a collaborative arrangement with several private imaging facilities across Cairns.
Mr Locos said the private diagnostic imaging facilities had been supporting Cairns Hospital by kindly setting aside time slots for public patients.