Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced an investment of £2.75m for an MRI Scanner at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
After much fundraising and lobbying by the MRI support group and others, light is now at the end of the tunnel.
The Minister was speaking at a Strictly Come Dancing fundraising event for the development of the paediatric scanner service.
Mr Poots said: “Ensuring access to appropriate diagnostic services is essential in the treatment of children. That is why the provision of MRI Scanner services within the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is a real priority.
“I am delighted to announce that I have conditionally approved the business case in respect of the scanner and will invest £2.75m from my Department’s capital expenditure programme for this project.”
The Health and Social Care Board will provide ongoing running costs of £1.9m per year. This total investment will be complemented by £2m funds raised through the Scanner Appeal.
The Minister said: “I would like to thank and congratulate all those who have been involved in raising much needed funds for the Scanner Appeal. This partnership working will ensure this vital service is delivered and your commitment will make a real difference to the children and families in need of these facilities.”
Work will now begin in securing the MRI Scanner service for the RBHSC. It will be used in the diagnosis of a wide range of medical conditions, including cancer. It is expected that work will be completed in 2013/14.