18 Jun 2009

Marshalls seeks urgent repair of only CAT scanner

1:40 pm on 18 June 2009

The only CAT scanner in the Marshall Islands has broken and health officials are scrambling to order replacement parts by the end of this week.

The parts are estimated to cost 55,000 US dollars.

The Assistant Health Secretary, Dwight Heine, says the health ministry is declaring the purchase an emergency to bypass time-consuming government procurement rules.

The scanner is used to detect brain injuries, strokes, tumours and many other ailments.

A mammograph, another important diagnostic machine used for cancer screening, has just come back online at Majuro Hospital after two years.

The Health Secretary in the Marshall Islands, Justina Langidrik, says it is not easy to maintain equipment purchased from overseas.

She says the Ministry of Health has just signed a contract with Guam-based MedPharm to provide preventive maintenance for all x-ray equipment, the CT scanner and the oxygen machine.