Riverland residents will benefit from a $4 million Marshall Liberal Government funding injection for a new MRI machine and surrounding capital works at the Riverland General Hospital.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the new MRI machine will be the second major medical imaging coup for the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network, after the installation of a new, state-of-the-art CT scanner in June.
“We are investing in our clinicians, services and world-class infrastructure to support best quality care and positive patient outcomes for people across the Riverland,” Minister Wade said.
“The $4 million project will see the installation of a new $1.5 million state-of-the-art MRI machine and completion of $2.5 million surrounding capital works to house the machine.
“We are determined that regional South Australians have increased access to quality services that are on offer at larger, metropolitan hospitals, and this investment brings us one step closer to that goal.”
Local Member for Chaffey and State Liberal Member for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the announcement was a significant health milestone for the Riverland.
“It will provide the community with the opportunity to access a much-needed medical service that is often taken for granted in metropolitan areas,” Minister Whetstone said.
“Thousands of patients will benefit from reduced travel and no longer having to deal with the inconvenience of being away from home, as well as access to quicker diagnosis and earlier treatment.
“It’s important to acknowledge the local community effort in securing the MRI licence and the support shown by locals for this service around the region.
“It’s a great outcome for the Riverland community and the funding is part of our State Government’s ongoing commitment to health services in regional areas.”
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Board Chair, Dr Peter Joyner, said the new MRI machine and capital works are a welcomed addition to the network.
“The 1.5 Tesla MRI unit will be funded by SA Medical Imaging and we thank them for the purchase” Dr Joyner said.
“This will give us time for building works to be undertaken at the hospital to accommodate the new unit, which we expect to be operational by the end of next year.”
Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Champion, said staff are looking forward to being able to provide more comprehensive scans for the community.
“We are expecting this new machine to improve not just the quality, but also the capacity of SA Medical Imaging services in the Riverland,” Mr Champion said.
“Overall, we’re expecting to be able to scan about 10 people each day, giving Riverland residents the same access to quality imaging as those in the city.
“This will give our patients access to improved care closer to home and our referrers will have the right tools to make the best decisions for their patients.”
An MRI – magnetic resonance imaging – is a scanning procedure that uses strong magnets and radiofrequency pulses to generate signals from the body.
These signals are detected by a radio antenna and processed by a computer to create images of inside the body.