By Dan Walsh
Wexford Independent Deputy Verona Murphy quizzed An Taoiseach Micheál Martin during the Questions on Promised Legislation debate in Dáil Éireann on Wednesday regarding the delay in providing an MRI Scanner at Wexford General Hospital.
Deputy Murphy said; “In 2018, the people of Wexford raised over €250,000, in consultation with and at the request of the HSE, to provide an MRI scanner for Wexford General Hospital. At the moment we have a service-level agreement with a private provider but unfortunately, we have not yet received our MRI scanner.
“A charity is now paying interest on the €250,000 that was raised while it sits in the bank and we are paying for a service level agreement that does not give bang for our buck vis-à-vis patients in Wexford because those patients who need scans on certain parts of their body actually have to pay extra. When, in the context of capital spending by the HSE, will we receive the MRI scanner, bearing in mind that the HSE has an underspend?”
An Taoiseach replied; “Two streams of funding are needed for an MRI scanner. Capital funding is needed but, more critically, current funding is needed to provide staff and ongoing supports to make sure the MRI programme is effective. It is not just a question of the provision of a machine.
“Clearly, expertise in terms of the programme itself is key. We have engaged with the HSE on this and I know that Deputies from Wexford have also done so. I will seek a further response from the HSE,” concluded An Taoiseach.