€20,000 needed to kickstart MRI project

By dAVID TUCKER

Published 19/11/2016 | 00:00

WEXFORD General Hospital and its friends are turning back the clock to raise funds for an MRI Scanner - the 'MRI - Now Project'.

In the mid-1990s, the annual hospital ball was a popular fixture, supported by all sectors of the community.

Now Friends of Wexford General Hospital, hospital management Lily Byrnes and Professor Colm Quigley, and a number of Wexford General Hospital staff members have joined forces to ensure a return of the Ball to raise much-needed funds for the scanner, with €20,000 needed to kick-start the project.

The black tie ball will be held in Clayton Whites Hotel on Saturday, November 19.

For the 400-plus guests who have secured tickets, they can expect a red carpet arrival with drinks reception, followed by a four course meal and dancing with The Troubadours and DJ. This will be the first time in several years that a Hospital Ball has been held in Wexford.

The WGH staff members include Brian McGrath, Gina Monahan, Peter Murphy and Roisin Ffrench all of whom have worked to bring the ball back and engaged Catriona Murphy to volunteer as the event and fundraising coordinator.

Corporate table sponsors will include Wexford County Council, Sam McCauleys, AIB and many supporting local businesses, GPs, and council representatives all of whom will be contributing with donations which will be featured on the advertising screens during the event.

County Wexford does not have an MRI Scanner and getting one put into Wexford Hospital is a must.

Ciaran Sheridan, Chairman of the Friends of Wexford General Hospital said that without an MRI, Wexford Hospital risked becoming a second grade Hospital and 'we cannot allow this to happen'.

The 'MRI-Now' project will be the major focus of the Friends for the next two years.

'We just need to keep up the great work for everyone in County Wexford, because at some stage the hospital becomes very important to all of us, either directly or indirectly. Having the best facilities possible must always be our aim,' said Ciaran.

Hospital General Manager Lily Byrnes said it was recognised by the Ireland East (Health Group) that every major hospital in the region should have an on-site MRI.

'Its uses are increasing, and the demand for medical imaging and diagnostics continues to grow. MRI forms an important part of any modern radiology department, and the future of the hospital may be jeopardised by not having one on-site. It also removes dependency on University Hospital Waterford where we currently have restricted access,' she said.

Professor Quigley said the project has been approved by Ireland East Health Group.

'The Friends will buy the machine with IEHG providing the build and staffing. By providing a local contribution, the project can get moved up the list of capital projects,' he said.

There are more than 2,500 MRI scans performed outside of the county on Wexford people each year with patients traveling to Cork, Dublin or Waterford.

'One estimate suggests it could be as high 4,000 annually. We could have this operating within two years and the current target is mid-2018.' The committee's aim is to host a fun-filled event with prizes at every table including a door prize consisting of a holiday voucher worth €1,000.

If you or your business wishes to investigate the opportunity to become a supporter of the 'Hospital Ball' or simply to make a donation please email Catriona Murphy at wghhospitalball@gmail.com or visit http://www.friendsofwexfordhospital.ie/donations/

Wexford People

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