Construction of the world class $250 million Monash Children’s Hospital is complete, with the latest imaging equipment now being installed to make diagnostic scans and procedures less scary and upsetting for children. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today inspected the hospital’s new child-friendly Diagnostic Imaging Suite that features the first installation of ambient MRI technology in the southern hemisphere. The entire Diagnostic Imaging Department features interactive displays in the waiting area, animation projections on ceilings during scans, and allowing children to choose the colours they want on walls and special features. The technology reduces anxiety in children having scans by transforming the MRI room into a theatre with soothing coloured lights, sounds and a video to distract them throughout the procedure.
There is also a ‘kitten’ scanner, which is a scale model of the MRI machine. Children, with parents and therapists, can play with the toy to learn about how the real-life scanner will work and why it is needed. This technology is proven to reduce the need for sedation, making the MRI experience more positive and comfortable for children. It was made possible by a gift of $2.6 million from a Melbourne family foundation.
In April, patients will move into the new hospital that will treat an additional 7000 children every year from the growing communities of south Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland. The hospital features 230 beds, made up of 96 paediatric beds, 12 dedicated children’s cancer day beds, 20 same day beds, 10 paediatric intensive care beds, 30 neonatal intensive care cots and 28 beds providing special mental health services for children and adolescents. With 27 consulting rooms, the new hospital will provide an additional 60,000 outpatient treatments for children each year, and there will be three dedicated children’s operating theatres and a children’s procedure room. The Andrews Labor Government also provided $3.8 million to build a helipad on the Monash Children’s Hospital rooftop so that kids facing life threatening emergencies, when transported by helicopter, will be able to be transferred more quickly to receive the urgent care they need.