MRI on track for January scans

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 24/08/2012

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Work on Timaru's $3 million MRI project has started.

Development of the building that will house the MRI machine began this week and, all going to plan, will be completed by late December, ready for its first patient in late January.

Of the money raised, $1.2m will be spent on the single storey building, while the remainder will go towards the machine and its maintenance costs.

The 200-square-metre building is being built behind the hospital's clinical services block.

South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) project manager Ross MacDonald said that although work was a week behind schedule, stage one, which consists of the outer shell, was due to be completed in October.

Stage two will involve the interior fitout.

Mr MacDonald said the fitout would start immediately after the outer shell was completed.

Chow:Hill Architects and building firm Ranger Construction have been commissioned to work on the project, along with Beca, which provides mechanical, medical gases, electrical and fire protection services.

Timaru's MRI service will mean 500 patients who require publicly funded MRI scans each year, and the 950 who get the scans done privately, or paid for by their health insurance, will no longer need to go to Christchurch.

It also means the number of publicly funded scans will be increased by about 400, benefiting those who have previously missed out because their needs were immediate, or because of the impact travelling to Christchurch would have on them.

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- The Timaru Herald

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