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Cabinet has approved a contract for the procurement, supply and commissioning of three new CAT Scan machines for three of the island’s hospitals within the next six weeks.
Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing yesterday(December 18), at Jamaica House, Information and Development Minister, Donald Buchanan said the machines are slated for installation at the University Hospital of the West Indies, the Kingston Public Hospital and the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
According to Minister Buchanan, the contract has been awarded to Consumables Direct Limited, a UK-based entity in the amount of $243.466 million (US$3.633 million).
“This is to improve and upgrade these facilities in our public health delivery system. This will also enable us to be fully ready in terms of providing and having all of the most modern technical facilities when Cricket World Cup 2007 is held in the Caribbean,” he said.
Outlining the features of the equipment, Minister Buchanan said one was a multi-slice 64 or multi-detector scanner, while the other two were multi-slice 32 and 40 scanners.
Single CAT scans are specialized x-ray machines that are widely used in medical imaging in the island’s hospitals, but are less useful for imaging the heart, since a beating heart does not stand still for a picture.
Now with the acquisition of a machine with multiple detectors, imaging of the heart and the cardiovascular system, which moves as it beats, can be done with a level of detail not previously available. The machines will also be able to carry out other regular procedures.
This contract follows four signed last month by Minister of Health, Horace Dalley, to expand the services and also overhaul the general infrastructure of the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.
The Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay is set to receive a major face-lift, as the entire facility will be painted this month.
Apart from the face-lift, the Minister said that the intensive care unit at the hospital would be expanded from two to seven beds. All these rooms will be fully equipped for the purposes of intensive care provision.