Britain's NHS to buy large volume of mobile MRI scanners

British Health Secretary John Reid today invited bidders to supply the NHS with new, mobile, 'state of the art' MRI scanners and highly qualified staff to help cut waiting times across England. These new scanners will targeted at areas of greatest need. It's expected that they will be operational this summer.

This new 5 year deal will see 80,000 more MRI scans a year on the NHS - a 10 percent increase in capacity. The Department of Health plans to sign contracts with the independent or voluntary sector in the next few months.

John Reid said:

"MRI scans help diagnose many cancers and other serious conditions such as: congenital disorders; acute or chronic migraine and headaches; epilepsy; bone infections; severe back pain; coronary heart disease; high blood pressure and chest pains.

"Significant investments in MRI and other techniques have already made strong headway, but waiting lists remain across England for this key diagnostic procedure and we need to do more to improve this situation.

"Supplying the NHS with new, mobile, 'state of the art' MRI scanners and highly qualified staff will help cut waiting times across England.

"This new deal will supply approximately 80,000 additional MRI scans per year over 5 years and will constitute a 10% increase in NHS capacity.  This will ensure more NHS patients get access to important early diagnosis and therefore better prospects for successful treatment.

"Mobile solutions will ensure we reach NHS patients in the areas of greatest need, and provide greater access to important diagnostic tests.  The independent sector will provide additional staff to ease pressure on existing NHS diagnostic teams and a fast track procurement process will ensure that the NHS and patients get early access to this additional diagnostic capacity."

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