HALF MILLION-DOLLAR CT SCAN COMING TO ANGUILLA BY MAY 1ST
The Government of Anguilla has made significant progress in ensuring that the people of the island are in a position to get the best possible healthcare with the use of a new 540 state-of-the art CT Scan Machine. The equipment is due to be in operation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital by May 1 and will be under the control of the Heath Authority of Anguilla.
This was revealed to The Anguillian on Wednesday, this week, February 8, by Minister of Health and Social Development, Mr. Evans McNiel Rogers. He has been the main advocate for the modern scanner which costs in the region of over half a million US dollars. To date, he has personally raised some US$400,000 – donated by various contributors – to pay for the long-needed machine.
Work is now in progress on refurbishing a room at the hospital which originally housed the old and useless CT Scan which has been discarded. A two-man team, Mr. Luis Villanueva, from General Electric Healthcare, manufacturer of the well-advanced 540 CT Scan, and Mr. Carolos Burges, of Biomedical International, visited Anguilla this week to review the preparations for the accommodation of the 7-foot CT Scan Machine. They toured the room accompanied by Minister Evans Rogers; the CEO of the Health Authority, Mr. George Brown; the Biomedical Engineer with the Health Authority, Mr. Harold Fernandez; the General Surgeon, Dr. Vonnetta George; and Anguillian contractor, Mr. Harold Ruan, who has already begun the refurbishing work.
Minister Evans Rogers, who is also a health professional, told The Anguillian: “As you know, I have been in the forefront of raising the funds for putting a CT Scan at our 24-hour healthcare facility – the Princess Alexandra Hospital. I have put out the ‘begging bowl’ for contributions and I am pleased to say that various institutions in Anguilla, and individuals, including expatiates, who have homes here, have been very generous. To date, I have raised just over US$400,000 in my quest to raise almost US$600,000 – probably about US$500,000 to be exact. That being said, I will not be deterred by the fact that probably another US$170,000 is needed. I will get that and will have the CT Scan here.
“I wish to note that the 540 CT Scan is one of the latest in terms of technology. Yes, we are beggars, but we can also be choosers. I think we have to raise the bar in terms of the equipment and services that we provide for our people in Anguilla – our residents and visitors. Therefore, I do not subscribe to the notion that I must accept anything that is less than the best.”
Minister Rogers continued: “Along with the CT Scan, I was able to negotiate with General Electric and Biomedical Engineering some terms and conditions that come with the C T Scan. These include the training of radiologists, technicians and other personnel. We intend to have the training and the installation of the machine completed and to have our first images on May 1st. The 30th of May is the 50th Anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution and so I think May 1st should be our starting point in terms of a new day for imaging in Anguilla.
“I also had some interests from individuals with respect to an MRI Machine. I am looking into that. As I mentioned before, we have to raise the bar. It is not a matter of being offered something – not to say that a lot of things being offered are not useful, good or better than we had – but I believe we must get the latest in terms of technology for our people.”
The Minister was asked to put into perspective what the CT Scan Machine would mean for the people of Anguilla. “This is going to raise diagnostic procedures to another level,” he stressed. “With the features associated with the 540 CT Scan, you will have, in technical terms, 16 slice, 32 slice, 64 slice, 132 slice features and so forth. As you move up, the level of imaging, detail, and added-on techniques will bring greater results. The new equipment will replace an old single slice CT Scan which was both very limited and archaic. I am sure that with the improvement in our imaging and diagnostic testing at the hospital, that we would be able to provide a level of service all of us should be proud about.”