Public health system gets first MRI scanner

The Port Moresby General Hospital (POMGH) today launched the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanner in the public health system of Papua New Guinea.

The K4.5 million project was funded by the National Fisheries Authority.

The GE 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner is one of the most advanced MRI scanners in its class in the world.

 A MRI scanner does not use radiation unlike a computed tomography (CT) scanner and is most suitable for the brain, spine, bones, joints and muscles.

Whereas a CT scanner is more suitable for the chest, heart, lymph nodes and blood vessels.

One important use of the MRI is in cancer patients where precise visualization of the cancer inside the body can help doctors in surgical planning or prevent an unnecessary surgery in cancer patients.

Chief Radiologist Dr Dora Lentrut Katal said the MRI scan is a Government subsidised service and will be free to the public up until April.

Dr Katal said the POMGH Board will decide on the usage fee which is expected to be less than K500.

POMGH chief executive officer and vascular surgeon Dr Umesh Gupta said they’re well on this much needed path of modernisation at POMGN.

The Radiology Department now has a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner, a 128 slice ultrafast CT scanner and digital mammography.

The department also has a full-fledged digital radiography with an IT system that enables the doctors to see the images immediately right at the bedside or in clinics.

Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Mao Zeming said MRI is a significant advancement in healthcare in PNG and NFA is proud to be associated with POMGH.

The NFA and the Sir Theo Foundation supported the funding of getting MRI expert Dr Parveen Gulati and MRI technician Harbansh Bhatia from India for the training of PNG doctors and technicians.

Quintina Naime