Thursday 19 September, 2019

Health Ministry: Technical issues with CT scanner since 2010

The Health Ministry has advised that the 16-slice CT scanner at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) is fully functional and continues to provide service to patients.

An advisory from the Ministry on Sunday provided an update on the CT scanners at the hospital, which have been plagued with technical problems, reportedly since 2010.

Patients at the SFGH have complained of long wait times for scans.   

The Ministry said while these issues were inherited, the current management team of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is actively pursuing a permanent resolution to the situation.

It said, however, a final solution will take additional time due to the complex nature of the matter.

A short term solution, including addressing the issue of the availability of foreign exchange, is being implemented and the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) continues to prioritise patients based on the urgency of each case, the Ministry stated.

There are two CT scanners at the San Fernando General Hospital – a 64-slice scanner and a 16-slice scanner. Currently the 16-slice scanner is functional and all emergency CT scanning needs of patients continue to be met.

The Ministry explained that technical problems which have been plaguing the 64-slice CT scanner date back to 2010.

The scanner was warehoused for almost two years in “less than ideal conditions” after it was first received in May 2010.  In 2012, during the installation phase, the warranty of this scanner was voided due to excessive condensation which further contributed to the challenges associated with the maintenance of this equipment.

Due to issues during the installation phase, the 64-slice CT scanner was only officially handed over to the SWHRA in April 2013, with a voided warranty, three years after landing in Trinidad and Tobago.  Since then, the scanner has never been fully functional due to a variety of technical problems, the Ministry added.

The public is advised to contact the Customer Service Desk or Customer Service Hotline at 87-SWRHA (79742) to have any concern on the matter addressed.

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