Just one MRI scanner at University Hospital Limerick serving whole of Mid-West

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

Cancer patient who took his life struggled to get early scan: The late Jack Liston

Cancer patient who took his life struggled to get early scan: The late Jack Liston

THERE is only one MRI scanner for all public patients in the entire Mid-West, the Limerick Leader has confirmed.

The UL Hospitals Group stated that the scanner at University Hospital Limerick is only one of its kind in the whole group, serving around 400,000 people.

This comes after the family of a terminally-ill patient, who took his life on the grounds of UHL, expressed their frustration with the health service over the availability of an MRI scan, at his inquest last week.

The Limerick Leader contacted the UL Hospitals Group about the availability of the MRI scanner at UHL.

The spokesperson confirmed that there is only one MRI scanner at UHL and group-wide and that the service is provided between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

“There is no scheduled service at weekends currently. At weekends if an emergency arises, the request is vetted and a decision is made on how to proceed in relation to the individual case, if it is necessary to transfer the patient to another centre, this is arranged promptly. 

"On receipt of the Coroner’s findings, consideration will be given to any recommendations,” the spokesperson told this newspaper. 

Jack Liston, aged 67, of Castleconnell, died by suicide after suffering a gunshot wound to his chest at the UHL chapel on January 18, 2017, the inquest was told. 

His partner of 11 years, Mary Manton, of Cratloe, told the inquest that he shot himself because he “wanted to make a point to the HSE: ‘You did this to me’”.

She told the coroner’s court on Wednesday that his health had “deteriorated rapidly” while he waited for an MRI scan at UHL.

He was advised by a consultant surgeon in Dublin in late November that an MRI scan was required before he could be operated on.

However, he was informed on January 11 that “an operation wasn’t an option any longer” after he eventually received a scan. 

Ms Manton told the inquest that, as far as she was aware, there was only one MRI scanner at UHL, which only operates until 4.30pm on a weekday, and does not operate on a weekend.