Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, fundraising for much-needed on-site MRI service

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Midland Regional Hospital

Mullingar's Midland Regional Hospital

MRI is very much part of routine for everyday medical investigation.

It is no longer a specialised investigation and should be available in every hospital.

An onsite MRI service is an essential diagnostic test required for patients attending various services especially stroke, general surgery, gastroenterology, emergency department, endocrinology, cardiology, general and elderly medical patients, young adults and children.

Almost 1,200 public patients are referred for an MRI to the Mullingar hospital each year.

The current access to an MRI for patients at Mullingar is via MRH Tullamore, which is the only publicly accessible MRI in the midlands region.

The current waiting list for a routine MRI at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar is 12 months.
In addition, paediatric MRI scans for which anaesthesia support is required comes with a two-year waiting list for routine access.

This is a service that can readily be developed at Mullingar as the hospital has a paediatrics department on-site.

A MRI Scanner uses Magnetism rather than X-rays to produce a scan; this means that it can be used in a lot of situations in which the use of X-Ray Radiation cannot, including neurological conditions in adults such as stroke, and especially those requiring repeated monitoring, children with developmental and neurological issues, acutely unwell patients who are unfit for transfer, as well as many other patients with surgical, medical and gynecological problems.

A key consideration for an on site MRI scanner at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar is the access for critically ill patients who may be too ill to travel for an MRI scan.

The charity Longford Westmeath Friends of Mullingar General Hospital is currently fundraising for this MRI scanner.

This fundraising appeal is the biggest to date. The Department of Health agreed to build a space to house the MRI and provide the staffing required to operate and maintain the machine should this campaign be successful.

Therefore, all monies raised in this appeal will be used directly for the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar for the purchase of the MRI Scanner and anciilary equipment which will cost in the region of €950,000.

The campaign balance is currently at €400,000 thanks to the continued efforts and generosity of the community.

In a statement on the matter, Longford GPs said:
“The GPs of Longford totally support and would urge all Longfordians to support the fundraising campaign for a MRI scanner in Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.

“We have so many very sick people who neither have the means or the health to be travelling to have MRIs when, with a bit of support, a scanner could be available on our doorstep.

“This is even more so for the children of Longford who would greatly benefit from this service.
“Our children are currently able to access the excellent paediatric service provided by the paediatricians from Mullingar.

“This service would be enhanced and waiting list reduced should we have access to our own scanner. Currently children have to travel to Crumlin for this.

“This does not have to happen. We could have this service available in Mullingar.

“An MRI scanner cost in the region of €950,000; please, we appeal to all Longfordians to support this critically important project.”

Donations can be made through the website, www.donate.ie/mullingarmri, the Friends of Regional Hospital Mullingar Facebookpage, or by sending a donation directly to the hospital for the charity attention.