On Wednesday March 22, 2023, Government of Montserrat Officials were on hand at the Montserrat Port Authority to receive Montserrat’s new Planmed Clarity™ 3D Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Machine. The state of the art mammography equipment uses technology that enables radiologists to identify and characterise lumps or lesions without the confusion of overlapping breast tissue. Historically, patients have had to travel from Montserrat to access mammography services, however this equipment will afford patients the opportunity to complete these important tests locally and save on travel costs.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Social Services Mrs. Camille Thomas-Gerald said:
“The addition of mammography services is a significant achievement for the health system, a critical piece of equipment towards Women’s Health, and a positive achievement along the non-infrastructure path the Ministry has identified as critical towards a more sustainable health system. I would like to extend my thanks to our funding partners and all staff involved in this achievement.”
Similarly, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharra Greenaway-Duberry expressed her delight saying:
“Empowering our physicians with improved diagnostics is paramount towards the improvement of our health system. We are closer to expanding our imaging services and by extension our diagnostic capabilities to improve the health outcomes of our population.”
Work to configure a section of Glendon Hospital will commence in April, and will be the location for Mammography Services until the New National Hospital is completed. Over the next few months staff in the X-Ray Department will undergo training to operate the unit. The new 3D Mammography machine will be fully commissioned and begin offering services later in 2023.
Head of the Programme Management Office, Mr. Martin Parlett, who has been working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office and the Ministry of Health and Social Services to ensure the smooth delivery and launch of the new service, said:
“This is the first in many new investments in critical life-safety equipment, funded by the FCDO and delivered locally, which will ultimately improve outcomes and save lives. Whilst the major CIPREG project for the construction of a new hospital continues, this delivery is proof positive of the Government’s investment in complementary health service transformation that is advancing to bring forward new services and healthcare benefits for Montserrat as soon as practicable.”
The 3D Mammography Machine and the supplementary training in its use, operation and maintenance forms part of the wider UK funded critical equipment project fund and supports the Health Transformation programme that is currently underway within the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Commenting on the arrival of the new unit Her Excellency the Governor Sarah Tucker said:
“I am really pleased that the mammography machine has arrived on island so quickly. This is the first of a series of critical diagnostic and lifesaving tools funded by the UK Government, to support Montserrat and develop our Health care offering.
Critical for early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases, mammograms are key to reducing breast cancer deaths.
My sincere thanks to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office for this funding, its continued support for Montserrat, and special thanks to colleagues in the Ministry of Health, the PMO and my office for making this happen.”