'Free' MR scanners come with hidden price tag

December 3, 2004

A lottery fund in the U.K. has enabled the purchase of about $72 million worth of MR equipment for hospitals throughout the country. Unfortunately, many scanners are stting idle, as the charitable contribution did not include operating expenses.

A lottery fund in the U.K. has enabled the purchase of about $72 million worth of MR equipment for hospitals throughout the country. Unfortunately, many scanners are stting idle, as the charitable contribution did not include operating expenses.

A survey conducted by the Royal College of Radiologists found that many scanners given to hospitals through the lottery came with insufficient funds to run them at maximum capacity, said Dr. Paul Dubbins, dean of the faculty of clinical radiology at the Royal College. Although the lottery fund has added more than 50 MR scanners in the U.K., waiting times for exams have increased to 18 months in some hospitals.