MRI Unit to be operational by early December

The new MRI Unit at Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar is due to be operational by early next month, according to the Minister for Health.

Responding to a query from Deputy Robert Troy, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said that a clinical specialist radiographer has been in place since August to prepare for the opening of the unit.

The HSE has also approved funding for 11.2 other posts, which the hospital is in the process of filling.

“Service commencement is planned for early December, initially providing scans for inpatients and Out-Patients Department internally,” Minister Donnelly told Deputy Troy in an email.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, John McGrath, chair of the Friends of Regional Hospital Mullingar, the charity which purchased the MRI scanner with money donated from the public, welcomed the news that the unit will be operational next month.

He said that according to the latest update he had received, the HSE recruitment process is ongoing and that the final work on the building will be completed in the coming weeks.

Once the work is completed the scanner can be commissioned.

When the scanner is operational the Friends of Regional Hospital Mullingar will be able to claim back the €230,000 VAT they paid when it was purchased and which required a loan from North Midlands Credit Union. Until then, they have to pay €1,600 in loan repayments every month.

Grateful for the support shown by the people of Westmeath and neighbouring counties since the fundraising campaign for the scanner began seven years ago, Mr McGrath said that any small donations to help the charity meet their loan repayments would be much appreciated. You can find out how to donate at