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"HSE failure to staff new MRI scanner at Midlands Regional Hospital utterly unacceptable" - TD

Local Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy has said it is “utterly unacceptable” that the HSE has failed to staff a new MRI scanner at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

The Health Service Executive informed Deputy Troy, in response to a parliamentary question, that the equipment was installed by local voluntary organisation Friends of Regional Hospital Mullingar, but that the funding did not include staff.

More than €1 million was raised by the organisation to buy the machine.

In the letter to Deputy Troy the HSE said: “The MRI scanner was installed at the MRH Mullingar, funded by Friends of the Hospital. This funding did not include staffing and non-pay costs to operationalise the scanner. A business case in this regard will be submitted as part of the Multiannual Urgent and Emergency Care Plan for funding.”

Deputy Troy said: “It is utterly unacceptable that the HSE would fail to staff the running of a new MRI scanner at Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar that has been purchased following huge fundraising efforts by local people for the good of the community.

“The HSE agreed that it would staff the MRI if locals raised the funds. The Friends of Midlands Regional Hospital have been hugely tolerant of this delay but they are understandably frustrated at this point.

“I have raised this matter with my party colleague Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on a number of occasions and he met with the Friends of Regional Hospital last November. The Minister is acutely aware of the importance of this and has informed me he has spoken with the HSE about the matter. Despite this we’re still waiting on the HSE to approve the business plan to staff the MRI machine.”

Deputy Troy added: “The response from HSE management to my request to publish the reasons and rationale for the delay staffing the operation of the scanner is wholly inadequate. They should be ashamed that an MRI scanner is lying idle when it could be used to help people.

“I call on the HSE to allocate staff for this scanner immediately.”