The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton officially opened the Fluoroscopy Suite at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) in a ceremony held on Thursday, October 13, 2022. The Health Minister welcomed this Suite which is now available in the public health sector and praised the partnership of the Tony Thwaites Wing. “My intervention is short, and it really captures the discussion around partnership. It is essential that we recognize that the new dispensation around healthcare and around treatment and around capacity building, coming on the heels of the worst global pandemic that we’ve had clearly in around 100 years that we recognize that the future rest on partnerships.”

The opening of the Fluoroscopy Suite in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology will provide complete and accurate studies performed expeditiously, with attempts to minimize patient discomfort and delay while assisting referring physicians in answering clinical conundrums. While many answers can be provided using cross-sectional imaging, fluoroscopy provides real-time visualization of dynamic processes. Interventional Radiology heavily utilizes fluoroscopy for image-directly biopsies, drainages, line placement, stents etc.

Prof. Joseph Plummer, Department Head of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia, & Intensive Care, UHWI, highlighted that the fluoroscopy Suite will not just be beneficial to department of medicine but several others. “This fluoroscopic unit will be extended to the department of O&G, the department of internal medicine gastroenterology, paediatrics, psychiatry, and the entire complement -school of medical radiation technology and school of nursing. By having this new unit, it will allow us to intervene for all the various things you can imagine. The entire gamut of modern medicine can take place using a diagnostic and interventional fluoroscopic unit.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Sundeep Shah, Department Head of Diagnostic & Interventional Radiology, UHWI indicated that fluoroscopy is x-rays in action. “It is the art and science of using these xrays in action to create a result. You might also ask what’s the big deal. Fluoroscopy is still vital in both the diagnostic and interventional realm.”

Mr. Mark Thwaites, Board Chairman, Tony Thwaites Wing said that the Fluoroscopy Suite is long in coming but he is happy that it’s now completed and that patients in Jamaica will have the use of the machine than having to travel elsewhere. “It shows that private and public sector partnership is possible and can work. I am proud that we assisted in procuring the fluoroscopy

machine. The University Hospital of the West Indies and TTW has been in partnership – financial partnership since 1996. And between 1996 and projected to the beginning of next year when we bring in the new chillers for the operating theatre and ICU it will amount to close to 700 million dollars of support that we have extended.”

The new Phillips Combidiagnost Unit was donated by the Tony Thwaites Wing and supplied by International Med-X to the UHWI. This is a state-of-the-art digital fluoroscopic unit with an additional digital x-ray unit to supplement the x-ray capabilities of the department.

The refurbishing of the building is projected at J$31.3 million and the equipment for the unit is J$76.1 million.