HEALTH Minister Dr Fuad Khan yesterday said the waiting time for CT Scans will now be “almost non-existent” and the delay to get a scan will be “very minimal” following the launch of a Nuclear Medicine Centre at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex at Mount Hope. Dr Khan said this country has been trying to start a Nuclear Medicine Programme at the complex for the last 15 years and a nuclear scanning machine had been lying idle in a box at the complex for the last seven years.
He said he had asked the chairman of the North West Regional Health Authority and other senior medical personnel to have the scanner up and running before September 7, 2015, “because that is when my term of office will end as Minister of Health.” He said they had succeeded and the programme would start today. Khan said he was very passionate about it because nuclear medicine is the way to go. Dr Lisa Mohammed, Head of the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, added that the unit had already worked on several patients and was about to establish an elective list. She said the new procedure was non-invasive and would replace a number of services in the other labs which were invasive and expensive.
She said the scanner was state-ofthe- art technology and the only one in the country and the Caribbean.
The Health Minister added that a lot of the CT Scans which had to be done at private health institutions would now be done at the complex.
The launch of the Nuclear Medicine Centre was coupled with the sod-turning for a modern dialysis centre on the grounds of the Mount Hope Maternity Hospital. Khan said the centre will be modelled on international dialysis centres and will be internationally accredited and recognised and the first of its kind in the country.
He added that it will have between 42-45 beds, nursing facilities and operating theatres and dieticians as well as other services. It will be the major dialysis centre in the north and he said a similar one will be constructed in San Fernando.
He said the centre will be one of the first public/private partnerships where the private sector will be taking the risk to finance, build, equip and operate and maintain it for the government. He said no government money is being spent on the centre and the government is only providing the land and the patients.
He said the company, Comprehensive Nephrology Services, (CNS), will operate it for fifteen years at the end of which the Government has an option to either buy the centre or sign an agreement to have CNS run it for another 15 years.
He said using this public/private sector partnership, the Government will be able to deliver services to the public which will be comparable to the private sector and will be using a private sector approach which will produce efficiency, low wastage and a high benefit. He said the Couva Children’s Hospital and the Carenage Health Centre and several other facilities had been designed in such a manner.