By REBECCA KUKU
THE first public health Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner launched last week at the Port Moresby General Hospital “will be affordable”, says Port Moresby General Hospital chief radiologist Dora Lenturut-Katal.
Lenturut-Katal said there were two government policies – one was the free primary healthcare and the other the subsidised specialist care policy.
“The MRI scanner comes under the subsidised specialist care, so fees will be considered in relation to this policy,” she said.
She said the hospital management would discuss the issue and come up with a fixed rate to charge patients who needed MRI scans but it “would be affordable and less than K500”.
“Previously, we had no MRI scanner in the public health sector that forced many people to seek treatment overseas and, more recently, in private hospitals like the Port Moresby International Hospital which was expensive for many.”
Lenturut-Katal also said it was vital to have a proper referral system so that patients’ report could be done and sent back to the referring doctors.
However, she said travelling expenses of patients from other provinces who needed an MRI scan depended on the hospital referring the patient and not the responsibility of the Port Moresby General Hospital.
“The Port Moresby General Hospital is a level seven hospital and a national referral hospital and the MRI would be a big help to the country,” she said.
Lenturut-Katal said the scanner was available to the public and would be free until next month.
The K4.5 million scanner was funded by the National Fisheries Authority.
By REBECCA KUKU