5.5-tonne magnet makes landfall

SHE'S HEAVY: The 5.5-tonne MRI magnet is craned into North Shore Hospital through the roof.
SHE'S HEAVY: The 5.5-tonne MRI magnet is craned into North Shore Hospital through the roof.

A $2.9 million project has seen a nearly 6-tonne MRI magnet craned into North Shore Hospital in the hope it will reduce a growing waiting list.

Part of the hospital's roof was removed so the machine could be winched in by construction workers on Friday, March 28.

A small group of radiographers gathered on the hospital roof for just under an hour to watch the magnet be craned into an insulated room.

The hospital's MRI director Chris McKee says the existing 12-year-old machine is working well over capacity.

They have been unable to keep up with waiting lists, he says.

McKee says North Shore will now be able to do paediatric MRIs - something the hospital has never done before.

The three-tesla magnet will offer higher quality images of organs, soft tissue, bone and other internal body structures, he says.

The magnet is yet to be filled with conducting helium but it should be fully operational by July, McKee says.

The older magnet is being upgraded so the hospital will have two scanners operating.

North Shore Times