WORK on the much-awaited government-funded CT scan project is making progress and will soon to boost the country’s health system.
This was revealed by the Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr. Culwick Togamana in response to the Leader of the Opposition Mathew Wale during the question and answer session in parliament.
Wale asked if Togamana could update the House on the Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner building construction.
In response, Togamana said that the CT scan project construction is being carried out by Hatanga Limited under the supervision and management of AIPF Solomon Islands Limited.
He further confirmed that the project is ahead of schedule and is on course to be completed by the end of February 2021.
He also confirmed that the Central Tender Board (CTB) has already approved the procurement of the CT equipment from Siemens Health Care, Australia and their engineers and specialists will be in the country to set up the CT machine in mid-February 2021 or earlier.
“The CT machine is the first of its kind for our Hospital. For this reason, the current IT systems will need to be upgraded,” Togamana said.
Therefore, in preparation for the changes, Togamana confirmed that his ministry has tendered out the systems upgrade functions.
He added that the technical committee has completed its assessment and is now in the process of recommending the awards to the winning bidder for CT machine accessories and the IT software upgrades.
Togamana also told parliament that the whole purpose of the CT scan project is to equip the National Referral Hospital.
It will also enable NRH to look after Solomon Islander’s health better.
Togamana also explained that the CT scan can detect bone and joint problems like complex bone fractures and tumours.
“If you have a condition like cancer, heart disease, emphysema, or liver masses, CT scans can spot it or help doctors to see any changes,” he explained.
However, he further explained that this will still leave the Hospital without the capacity for early detection of killer diseases such as prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and certain liver cancers.
This is because they are pretty much invisible or very hard to detect on a CT scan.
Meanwhile, Togamana said that Metastases to the bone and the brain also show up better on an MRI Machine to complement the CT scan which is scheduled to come into operation in March 2021.
By ANDREW FANASIA