Belau National Hospital received brand-new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) equipment for the first time, one of the top-of-the-line medical diagnostic pieces of equipment donated by Japan to Palau.  Other equipment in the donation package includes a brand-new CT scan and two X-Ray machines, which are expected in a few months.

“With equipment here, the training will commence soon. Those to be trained include radiology personnel, doctors using the equipment for diagnostics, and biomedical maintenance technicians,” stated Minister Gaafar Uherbelau of the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

Minister Uherbelau said the package included some maintenance training, but the MHHS also procured additional training on the equipment.

“There will be some maintenance training on the equipment, but most of the training will be on the operation of the equipment,” added Uherbelau. 

The MRI equipment is expected to be operational within two months after the completion of the training.

“The biggest benefit of this MRI is that it will improve the accuracy and efficiency of the diagnosis of patients and, in doing so, will reduce the cost of referrals.   A percentage of referral cases just go out there to get MRIs and further examinations… so in the long run, it will save Republic a lot of money that would otherwise be used to send people out just to get diagnosed before treatment,” said Uherbelau of the benefits of having the MRI equipment at the hospital.

The hospital’s CT Scan has been down for some time now, and many patients have been referred overseas for medical services due to limited diagnostic capabilities.  The arrival of the new MRI and CT Scan will help address this problem.

Minister Uherbelau said that the value of the donation package is not yet known. Still, the MRI equipment alone costs one million dollars, not including all the ancillary equipment that comes with it.  The cost also does not include freight, installation, and other related costs.

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