MOMENTOUS: The new MRI machine arrives at Ipswich Hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning.
MOMENTOUS: The new MRI machine arrives at Ipswich Hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning. West Moreton Health

MRI delivery hits hospital suite spot as machine craned in

A CRITICAL piece of equipment for Ipswich Hospital's new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Suite arrived early on Saturday morning.

The new machine means 50 more patients will be able to access imaging services at Ipswich Hospital each week.

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Dr Kerrie Freeman said the machine should be scanning its first patients by the end of the year.

"The MRI magnet, measuring 2.4m by 2.1m and weighing 7 tonnes, was craned into position within Ipswich Hospital's Medical Imaging Department," she said.

"Its arrival is an exciting milestone in West Moreton Health's Master Plan to meet the health care needs of the rapidly growing population."

The machine was delivered by crane in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden was there to witness the historic moment.

"The innovative machine is among the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, designed to be as patient friendly as possible," he said.

"What it means in practical terms, currently about 50 patients a week have to be transported by ambulance to either a private hospital MRI or to another public hospital MRI, and this would mean they will now be able to be dealt with in house.

"That's ambulances that will be freed up, that will be patients that don't have to be put through the stress of going to another hospital.

"This will all be in one unit now, the X-ray, CT scans, it will all be in the one particular area, it will not be all spread around through the hospital.

"This particular room for the MRI machine has to be set up in a very special way. The room itself has to be completely lined with copper.

"Because of the weight of the machine, the floor had to be reinforced.

"This machine weighs about five tonnes, those floor ways had to be reinforced from below with acrow props to make sure it didn't fall through."

Mr Madden said the machine cost about $6million, including the installation.

"This is part of what we call stage 1A of the redevelopment of the Ipswich Hospital, not only are we going to have the MRI suite, we're also going to have a new mental health unit that's going to be built, a new carpark and a new integrated community health care centre and out patient facility," he said.

"It's a major commitment by the government, $124million over a five-year period.

"We need this, because we all know the population of Ipswich is set to double over the next 10-15 years."