The San Fernando General Hospital.

A 46-year-old woman who is being treated at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) in need of an urgent MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan before surgically removing a mass in her brain, has been told she would receive one at the Eric William’s Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC).

Indra Sankar was taken to hospital after suffering a seizure on Saturday, November 21 where it was discovered she had a mass growing on her brain which needed to be urgently removed. However, doctors at the SFGH were unable to proceed with the surgery without first conducting an MRI scan.

They were prevented from doing this as the machine at the hospital was not functioning.

However, South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) officials told Guardian Media an expedited order was placed with its supplier to ensure the machine is operational within the upcoming week.

But following a Guardian Media report, Sankar’s daughter (who wished to remain unnamed) said she would instead be transferred to the EWMSC to get the scan done.

“The director of the health authority said they would be transferring her…Tuesday or Wednesday so she would do the MRI there. They would see if they can do the surgery within a week or a week and a half,” she said.

“He (the doctor) said they had to do a list of five most important patients to do MRI’s and she was one of the five.”

She said she hoped that the SWRHA was able to get the MRI scanner repaired and operational promptly because several patients require the scan.

Meanwhile, the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) said the CT (computerised tomography) scanner at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital should become operational by the end of the week.

In response to queries by Guardian Media, the NWRHA chief executive officer Salisha Baksh said the only operational scanner within her RHA is the one located at the St James Medical Complex.

“The machine at GHPOS is undergoing maintenance works which includes the replacement of several parts. It is anticipated that CT scan services at the GHPOS hospital will resume by the end of the week. In the interim, CT scans are being outsourced both public (NCRHA and ERHA) and private institutions to ensure the continuity of medical care/management and clinical services,” she said.

One of the two CT scanners at the SFGH is also down for maintenance but is expected to “resume operation in short order.” The main scanner, Guardian Media was told, is fully operational.

Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA), chief executive officer Ronald Tsoi-a-Fatt said their scanner was fully operational and “working beautifully.”