By Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Minister of Health has confirmed that Ghana has only four active Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines stationed in selected Government Hospitals.
According to the Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Menu four (4) out of the seven (7) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Machines in major hospitals across the country are functional.
The Minister in his submission, named the Government hospitals having those essential equipment needed for critical medical care as the University of Ghana Medical Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital also known as Ridge Hospital.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu revealed this when the Deputy Minority Leader and MP for Ketu North James Klutse Avedzi asked an urgent question on how many Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines are functioning in government hospitals throughout the country and what steps is the Ministry taking to increase the number of MRIs.
The sector Minister responded by saying, “the MRI machine at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has been down for the past one week awaiting replacement of effective components which the hospital has ordered through local agents”.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu mentioned the hospitals with dysfunctional MRIs as three quasi-government hospitals and the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which has been down since 2016.
He added that, “the machines require major repairs and multiple refilling helium to diagnose the problem as well as the refilling of helium to cool down the magnet after the repairs”.
“The proposals for repairs and the estimated cost of repair do not convince the ministry of success after committing the funds for the repairs. The quotations received are not also economic so the best and economic option is replacement,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, in asking a supplementary question, the MP for Keta, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey noted that Volta Regional Hospital has no MRI Machine.
The MP, who is a Public Health Practitioner, alleged that hundreds of patients travel to Accra daily to access the facility, “some spend hours and days due to long queues at Korle-Bu and other Private Hospitals”.
He, however, accused the Health Minister of not being faithful to the people of the region as he has no plan to purchase one for the Region.