EASE Healthcare in partnership with the St. Dominic Catholic Hospital (SDCH), Akwatia in the Eastern region, has commissioned the region’s first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner at the hospital.
The Siemens Magnetom Free.Star MRI, a pinnacle of Siemens low-helium technology, not only signifies a monumental milestone for the region’s healthcare landscape but also underscores a commitment to delivering transformative and compassionate medical services, according to managers of the health facility.
Celebration of Progress and Compassion
The esteemed Catholic Bishop of Koforidua Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Afrifah-Agyekum, Guest of Honour at the commissioning, expressed profound joy and gratitude as he celebrated the remarkable progress in healthcare delivery within the Akwatia community and beyond.
He emphasised the principles of compassion embedded in the Catholic Church, drawing parallels with the healing ministry of Jesus Christ for the sick, the poor, and the marginalised.
The occasion marked not only the debut of the Siemens Magnetom Free.Star MRI scanner technology in Ghana but also the expansion of diagnostic structures at St. Dominic Catholic Hospital.
He said from humble beginnings, the hospital has witnessed the emergence of state-of-the-art laboratory services, CT scan services, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, and now, the groundbreaking introduction of MRI technology – the first and only in the Eastern Region.
Hope and Progress through Collaboration
Most Rev. Afrifah-Agyekum acknowledged these advancements as symbols of hope and progress, attributing the success, especially in MRI technology, to the tireless dedication and collaboration of the Hospital Management Team.
He said their unwavering commitment and harmonious collaboration with EASE Ghana Limited have laid the foundation for a healthier and more promising future for the community and beyond.
The Bishop stressed the necessity of periodic preventive and corrective maintenance for the MRI machine, calling on stakeholders to uphold ethical principles of compassion, empathy, solidarity, and service to humanity.
He also urged the healthcare team to recommit themselves to the vision, mission, and core values that define St. Dominic Catholic Hospital as a Catholic health service.
Enormous Benefits for Patients and Community
Dr. Winfred Ofosu, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Service, lauded the introduction of the MRI machine as a significant leap in healthcare accessibility and quality for the region, emphasising the historical significance of the moment.
He recognised the transformative leap in the region’s new ability to diagnose and treat diseases, and underscored that the MRI machine signifies a profound impact on the lives of community members.
He said the precision and accuracy it offers will enable healthcare professionals to diagnose conditions earlier, with greater precision, leading to more targeted and effective treatments.
He stressed that the collaborative effort between Ease Ghana and St. Dominic Catholic Hospital has opened doors to a new era of healthcare excellence in the Eastern Region and urged medical representatives from various health facilities to refer cases involving MRI to SDCH, Akwatia.
A Journey from Challenge to Progress
Dr. Maite Alfonso Romero, the Medical Director of SDCH, shared a compelling story of determination and progress, saying five years ago, faced with scepticism about the need for a CT scan machine, the hospital’s resolve remained unshaken.
Today, having acquired both a CT scan and an MRI Scan, the hospital stands equipped with highly advanced medical imaging technologies.
Dr. Romero said by offering this service locally, the hospital aims to eliminate the need for patients to travel long distances, thus reducing financial burdens and stress during times of illness.
She described the MRI Scan as not merely a sophisticated piece of equipment but a symbol of hope and progress, signifying the hospital’s commitment to delivering excellence in patient care and advancing medical science.
EASE Healthcare’s Gratitude and Commitment
Dr. Kanyinsola Oyeyinka, Vice President of EASE Healthcare and Managing Director of EASE Ghana, expressed gratitude and congratulations to the SDCH team, partners, and collaborators during the official launch ceremony. She acknowledged the challenges faced by healthcare facilities in acquiring and maintaining expensive medical equipment like MRI scanners, underlining EASE Healthcare’s commitment to offering innovative solutions.
Dr. Oyeyinka detailed the journey that led to the collaboration with SDCH, emphasising the significance of the partnership.
She said the installation of the Siemens Healthineers MRI Freestar Machine at SDCH came after extensive engagement and vetting processes, and that the installed MRI represents cutting-edge technology, being the first of its kind in Ghana, with best-in-class clinical applications and energy-efficient features.
Mr. Frans VanSchaik – Chairman of EASE Holdings BV Board of Directors, CEO of African Asset Finance Company, reiterated his appeals to the Government of Ghana to restore duties exemption on health equipment to reduce the cost of healthcare in the country.
He underscored the relevance of the collaboration between EASE and SDCH, saying sometimes “the ownership of things is not everything” and that it would be of little or no benefit to encumber the management of the hospital with the ownership and obligation to finance the acquisition of the scanner when EASE’s distinctive pay-per-scan equipment-as-a-service model can make the machine accessible and affordable for SDCH.
“The EASE® model allows institutions to avoid upfront capital costs, allowing the hospital to utilise cash flows generated from scans to cover the cost of the service, which not only includes using the scanner, but also first-class support, training and servicing of the equipment.”
Strategic Vision and Collaborations
Rev. Fr. Ebenezer Kenneth Abban, the Hospital Manager & Administrator, said the hospital’s relentless pursuit of expanding diagnostic services aligns with the evolving landscape of healthcare, emphasizing the importance of diagnostic orientation in future healthcare services.
Fr. Abban highlighted the hospital’s strategic vision outlined in its 10-year plan, which he said focuses on positioning St. Dominic Catholic Hospital as a force in medical diagnostic services.
Expressing gratitude to various stakeholders, Fr. Abban thanked EASE Ghana, Pacific Diagnostic Ghana, the Catholic Diocese of Koforidua, and all who contributed to the success of the project and said the hospital’s ultimate vision is to become a tertiary level hospital with a teaching college.
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