Sutherland Hospital to receive long-awaited MRI machine
Campaigning efforts by the community, Members of Parliament and SESLHD staff last week resulted in the announcement that Sutherland Hospital will soon receive its own MRI machine.
NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, announced that $7 million has been allocated to purchase a machine, from the government's $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund, established to promote economic activity in response to the pandemic.
"Each year, around 800 inpatients at Sutherland Hospital need MRI services and have to be transferred to St George Hospital or referred to private providers for scans," Mr Hazzard said.
“Patients will soon be able to access onsite MRI services, ensuring less travel and faster care."
Vicki Weeden, General Manager, Sutherland Hospital, said the announcement was great news for local residents and staff.
“This is a wonderful announcement that we’ve been keen to hear for some time. I’d like to thank Minister Hazzard and our local Members of Parliament for bringing this good news which, most importantly, will be of enormous benefit to the patients in our care needing MRI services,” Ms Weeden said.
According to the St George & Sutherland Shire Leader, more than 5000 people signed a petition seeking an MRI machine at the hospital.
In a statement following the Minister’s announcement, the local campaign group said: "We would like to thank all those that signed the petitions and the many who told us of their personal and traumatic experiences caused by the lack of an MRI at Sutherland Hospital. Member for Cronulla Mark Speakman MP has worked very hard on achieving a resolution to this problem.”
Mr Speakman said: "This is a great outcome for patients, carers and health staff and the next step is to get an MRI licence."
MRI services will be available for inpatients at no charge, but outpatients will have to pay a fee and claim a rebate from their health fund, until the MRI licence is in place.