$3m mobile MRI scanner to benefit city patients

GLADSTONE residents with medical concerns will soon benefit from Central Queensland Medical Imaging's (CQMI) latest $3 million purchase ? a mobile MRI scanner.

CQMI regional director Dr Joseph Putman said the mobile MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner was an Australian first that would provide a service to Gladstone people that had previously been unavailable.

'While MRI technology has been around for 20 years, it is the first time in Australia that this technology is mobile,' Dr Putman said.

'People won't have to travel to Rockhampton to access MRI.

'It may also help encourage new doctors to Gladstone because it's high technology stuff that doctors like to have available.'

CQMI has received a licence to use the unit in Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg, meaning patients who are referred to the unit by their doctor or GP at the three centres will be entitled to a Medicare rebate.

The scanner is used to detect medical abnormalities including tumours in cancer and stroke patients, cartilage damage in knees and spinal disc injuries.

The mobile unit comes in the form of a truck and will visit Gladstone's Mater Hospital for the first time tomorrow and Friday and then return every fortnight Thursday and Friday.

Dr Putman said a private function for doctors and GPs of Gladstone had been planned for September 22 to allow them to see the unit's capabilities.

CQMI staff have been trained in the use of the MRI technology.

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