Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    First patient scanned at Fremantle Hospital's new $4million MRI centre

    17/01/2005 1:00 PM

    A new $4million Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) centre at Fremantle Hospital will help cancer patients and people with musculoskeletal and neurological conditions receive quicker treatment and provide more accurate diagnoses.

    Health Minister Jim McGinty said the MRI machine, which scanned its first patient today, was part of the State Government’s ‘Delivering a Healthy WA’ reform program that had made Fremantle Hospital’s Radiology Department into one of the most advanced scanning sites in the world.

    “The MRI will significantly improve the ability of Fremantle Hospital specialists to diagnose cancer, musculoskeletal conditions and neurological disorders, enabling them to offer the appropriate treatment to patients more quickly,” Mr McGinty said.

    “It is the latest addition to the hospital’s state-of-the-art radiology department, which in recent months has been equipped with a new $2million 64-slice computer tomography (CT) scanner, two echocardiograms and a gamma camera.

    “We will be constantly upgrading facilities and equipment for Fremantle Hospital during the planning and construction of the new 600-bed Southern Tertiary Hospital to ensure people living south of the river continue to receive the best possible health care.”

    About 3,000 patients will benefit from the MRI in its first year of operation.

    Unlike an X-ray, an MRI scan uses a magnetic field to make the body’s cells vibrate instead of radiation. The cells give off electrical signals which are interpreted by a computer and turned into very detailed images or ‘slices’ of the body.

    An MRI can be used to produce images of every part of the body, including the bones, joints, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and organs. Different types of tissue show up in different colours on a computer-generated image, making it easy to identify any abnormalities.

    The Minister said the operation of the MRI at Fremantle Hospital meant that the costly and inefficient transfer of patients to other hospitals, such as Sir Charles Gairdner or Royal Perth, for scans was no longer necessary.

    About $2.7million was spent on the new MRI machine, with another $1.3million going towards capital works, equipment and installation. Fremantle Hospital’s Volunteer Ladies’ Auxiliary also donated $7,000 towards the interior design of the centre.

    Mr McGinty said the Government was able to put more money into hospitals after delivering balanced Budgets four years in a row.

    "The MRI centre is a significant investment which will enhance the work of medical staff and improve patient care," he said.

    "Labor's good management means we can grow the future in health, unlike the Liberals who put health care on the sick list with privatisation and five Budget deficits in eight years."

    Minister's office: 9220 5000