THE computerised tomography (CT) scanner at the San Fernando General Hospital—a critical diagnostic tool at the Accident and Emergency Department—is out of order and patients are being transferred to private nursing homes.
Acting medical director, Dr Lester Goetz, confirmed that the scanner stopped working last week Friday.
"Since then we have been working on a voucher system, where patients are being given vouchers to take to private nursing homes," he said yesterday.
Ten patients were given vouchers to take to Surgi Med or the Southern Medical Clinic at the weekend. The CT scan, which produces more detailed images of the body than that x-rays, costs approximately $1,500 each.
Hospital officials are seeking the intervention of newly appointed Health Minister, Dr Fuad Khan, as the equipment at the hospital is five years old and has broken down at least four times before. Replacement parts for the machine must be accessed in Germany.
Acting chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority, Anil Gosine, said the supplier was contacted and the machine is expected to be up and running later this week.