$2 million device to replace MRI scanner broken by negligent cleaner

The careless maintenance worker is still working at Hadassah.

February 15, 2016 19:00
1 minute read.

MRI machine [illustrative]. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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The Hadassah Medical Organization has bought and activated a new magnetic resonance instrument (MRI) scanner after its previous machine (one of two on campus) was irreparably damaged last October -- when a cleaning worker who works for a contractor rolled a metal wagon with metallic objects into the area. The breakdown of the scanner forced many patients to wait for their diagnoses, HMO said on Monday.

The careless maintenance worker, who had been drilled on the prohibition of bringing metallic objects into the area, is still working at Hadassah and neither he nor the contractor was punished for the negligence. “He was roundly berated, but he was not punished,” said Hadassah spokeswoman Hadar Elboim. “It is more important to learn from the incident.”

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The new machine is mobile and will be used only temporarily until a new MRI scanner, that will be installed permanently at a total cost of some NIS $2 million, is brought to Hadassah by Philips. HMO opened its pocketbook for an additional $2 million for a new MRI scanner for its hospital on Mount Scopus that never had one before, Elboim added. Hadassah “made an excellent deal with Philips, getting a price that saved $1 million.” The new machines are high quality with advanced picture quality and safety for the patient and the team that will operate them, she added.

She said that HMO’s new director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein was the one who -- upon taking office at the beginning of the month -- decided the lack of one MRI was an urgent matter to fix because of long patient queues for diagnostic scans. Even before taking office officially, Rotstein -- who launched a “New Hadassah” campaign when taking up his office -- “studied the matter and gave it top priority for the benefit of the many waiting patients.”

The temporary, mobile MRI was supplied by Philips within only three weeks. Rotstein, who replaced acting director-general Prof. Tamar Peretz, was previously director-general of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

In recent months, Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman has put much stress on the harm from waiting long periods for MRI scans. He reached an agreement with the Finance Ministry for financial help for hospitals that lack MRIs, facilitated the issue of operating licenses and publicized a phone number in his office for people waiting more than two weeks for an MRI scan.

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