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New €1 million CT scanner at Waterford hospital left 'gathering dust' for almost a year

TD John Halligan said the delay put lives at risk.

Image: CT scanner via Shutterstock

THE HSE HAS admitted that a new CT scanner that cost more than €1 million at University Hospital Waterford has been left idle for almost a year after it was officially launched.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, the HSE confirmed the scanner became operational on Monday 20 April 2015 – despite the fact that it was officially launched in May last year. “A decision to this effect was agreed recently at the beginning of the year, to allow for training and commissioning requirements,” it said.

The topic has been raised repeatedly by TD John Halligan who said out the machine was launched “with much fanfare” by then Minister for Health James Reilly just before the local elections.

“However the opening of the new area was repeatedly delayed due to the requirement for additional nursing and care assistant staff to cover the unit”.

“Waterford handles over 7,000 CT scans a year and radiographers at UHW have repeatedly warned that they cannot work safely with their present numbers. Lives were being put at risk for the sake of training a relatively small number of staff to operate this machine.”

The HSE said this second CT unit, which is adjacent to the new Emergency Department, will provide “more immediate and safer access to CT for critically ill patients and will also support the implementation of stroke protocols for patients presenting to the ED”.

Read: 12 month delays for MRI scans ‘putting lives at risk’>

Read: Here’s how a radioactive injection could be avoided when assessing cancer in children>

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