A new magnetic resonance imaging machine at the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town means patients can remain in Grand Cayman for diagnoses for which they previously had to travel abroad.
The placement of the 1.5 Tesla MRI is the first step of a two-step process. Within a year, the temporary machine will be replaced with a 3.0 Tesla MRI at the hospital.
Lizzette Yearwood, chief executive officer of the Health Services Authority, said the arrival of the new MRI machine is the result of a public/private sector partnership between the Health Services Authority and a private company called 3T Cayman, which responded to a tender.
“The installation of the new temporary MRI machine is an important addition to our current services at the Cayman Islands Hospital,” said Ms Yearwood.
“The temporary 1.5 Tesla is located on the HSA compound in self-contained housing equipment developed especially for the MRI scanner,” she said. “The leap from a .03 to a 1.5 is a huge one for the provision of healthcare for Cayman’s residents. The immediate benefit is that residents who need MRI scans at higher resolution can now remain on island to have their procedures completed, thereby reducing the need for inconvenient travel, as well as the high costs.”
Dr. Yaron Rado, spokesman for 3T Cayman, outlined the benefits of the high-powered machines. “The 3 Tesla machine possesses a high field strength MRI that can show structures that have not ever been seen before. With this machine, blood vessels as small as 200 to 300 microns can be seen; this is an important benefit to doctors,” he said. “Radiologists who have been testing the high field strength MRI in clinical settings, show results that the 3 Tesla machines can do anything a workhorse 1.5 Tesla scanner can, but can do it faster and better. It really is about as good as you can get when it comes to MRI scanners.”
Ms. Yearwood said that once installed, the 3 Tesla machine will be the only one of that quality available in the region, including South Florida.
She said the installation of such a machine will mean that some services will have to move, as a result. “Residents should look out for future notifications, as there will be some relocation of services once the 3 Tesla arrives and is installed at the Cayman Islands Hospital,” she said.
“We are extremely excited to partner with 3T Cayman to make this possible for all residents on the island who may need this service,” Ms. Yearwood added. “With the installation of the 3 Tesla MRI scanner at the end of the year, we look forward to offering a service that is unprecedented within the region for the benefit of all Cayman residents.”