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Posted: Friday 9 June, 2023 at 10:16 AM

NIA providing free mammogram services at the Alexandra Hospital

Newly commissioned Philips (Planmed Clarity 3D) mammography system purchased by the Nevis Island Administration for the Alexandra Hospital
By: (NIA), Press Release

    NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 08, 2023) – A start-of-the art- mammography unit is now in operation at the Alexandra Hospital, and the Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has taken a decision to waive the fee for the service for the next six months.
    The Ministry of Health recently commissioned a new Philips (Planmed Clarity 3D) mammography system with digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), acquired at a cost of US $229,585.
    This model is one of the most advanced mammography systems on the market with outstanding image quality and high performance. The versatile system can be used for 3D imaging, 2D screening, diagnostic examinations, and stereotactic biopsies. The DBT capabilities means it takes multiple pictures of the breast from more angles than a standard mammogram, creating a more detailed image. 
    “We know that we have been struggling here with breast cancer and we have gone ahead and invested a significant amount of money in the acquisition of state-of-the-art mammogram machine,” Premier Hon. Mark Brantley said recently. “We have now set it up; the training has occurred and the services are now being offered.” 
    He explained that Cabinet of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led administration determined that the service will be free for a period of time in order to encourage as many women as possible to get mammograms done and know their status.


    “We are told that the services in St. Kitts where our women had to go to get a mammogram is $300, but of course in addition you would have to pay the boat and do all of that. We have fixed the price of the mammogram service at the hospital at EC $200. However, the Cabinet in its wisdom has decided for the rest of 2023 the service will be free.”
    Hon. Jahnel Nisbett, Minister of Health and Gender Affairs, said the mammography unit is an excellent addition to the expanding diagnostic capabilities offered at the Alexandra Hospital. She said with the service now more accessible to the people of Nevis, she is hopeful that more women will take the opportunity to get screened for breast cancer.
    “Now that we have this machine based here on Nevis we can ensure access to that quality of care to residents on the island. We are aware of the statistics locally and globally that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women. Of course breast cancer affects men as well so where recommended by a doctor, it’s also available to men.
    “After investing more than US $229,000 into this state-of-the-art piece of medical equipment, while in discussions regarding the costing we understood the need for promoting early detection and testing among our people, we decided to waive the fees associated with accessing this service until the end of 2023. That’s six months of free service that the government is providing to our people,” she said.


    As mammograms can only be administered by doctors’ orders, persons are asked to visit their physician to schedule the service.





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