The placement of a 1.5 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) on the campus of the Health Services Authority (H.S.A) represents a major enhancement of diagnostic capability for the Country’s Health Care System. As the first step of a two-step process that will place a 3.0 Tesla MRI at the Hospital within one year, the temporary placement of the 1.5 Tesla MRI dramatically increases the capability of the H.S.A to scan patients to determine the severity of injuries or causes of illnesses. Procedures will be done here in Grand Cayman that, previously, were done off-Island.
The temporary placement of this 1.5 Tesla machine, with the eventual emplacement of the 3.0 Tesla MRI, is the result of a Public Sector-Private Sector Partnership between the H.S.A and a private company, 3T Cayman, which successfully responded to the government Tender.
H.S.A. CEO Ms. Lizzette Yearwood says the installation of the new temporary MRI machine is an important improvement on current facilities at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
“The temporary 1.5 tesla is located on the H.S.A. compound in self-contained housing equipment developed especially for the MRI scanner,” she explains. “The leap from a .03 to a 1.5 is a huge one for the provision of healthcare for Cayman’s residents. The immediate benefit is that residents who need MRI scans at higher resolution can now remain on island to have their procedures completed, thereby reducing the need for inconvenient travel, as well as the high costs.”
By the end of the year 3T Cayman and the H.S.A. will move forward further in its aims to provide high quality scanning facilities for its patients, with the installation of an even higher-powered 3 tesla MRI scanner.
Dr. Yaron Rado, spokesperson for 3T Cayman, outlines the benefits of these high powered machines. “The 3-tesla machine possesses a high field strength MRI that can show structures that have not ever been seen before. The power contained in this machine can show blood vessels as small as 200 to 300 microns, which is an important benefit to doctors,” he explains. “Radiologists who have been testing the high field strength MRI in clinical settings, show results that the 3–tesla machines can do anything a workhorse 1.5–tesla scanner can, but can do it faster and better. It really is about as good as you can get when it comes to MRI scanners.”
Ms. Yearwood noted that the 3-tesla machine will be the only one of that quality available in the region once installed, including South Florida.
She also highlighted that the installation of such a machine will mean that some services will have to move, as a result, she says.
“Residents should look out for future notifications, as there will be some relocation of services once the 3-tesla arrives because the H.S.A. will need to make room for it within the Cayman Islands Hospital,” she explains.
The Public Sector-Private Sector Partnership between the H.S.A and 3T Cayman extends the availability of resources for delivering important health care services. It allows the H.S.A to provide citizens enhanced and more convenient services while remaining within its budgetary controls. 3T Cayman assumes responsibility for providing and maintaining the equipment, and for providing qualified staffing. CINICO will experience cost-saving because many beneficiaries, who would have previous needed to go off-Island, will be able to undergo required procedures requiring higher resolution or faster scan times here on the Hospital Campus.
“We are extremely excited to partner with 3T Cayman to make this possible for all residents on the island who may need this service,” Ms. Yearwood confirms. “With the installation of the 3-tesla MRI scanner at the end of the year we look forward to offering a service that is unprecedented within the region for the benefit of all Cayman residents.”