HC Deb 26 April 2002 vol 384 cc515-6W
David Davis

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has for the purchase of new CT scanners. [50593]

Yvette Cooper

The NHS Cancer Plan provided details of diagnostic equipment to he purchased for the NHS. This included a commitment to 200 new Computed Tomography scanners by 2004.

Programmes to deliver this commitment are well underway and by 17 April 2002, 84 Computed Tomography scanners had already been delivered to the NHS through central programmes. This means that, in total, approximately 41 per cent of CT scanners now in use in the NHS are new since January 2000. Programmes to deliver the remaining equipment are on-target to meet the 2004 deadline.

Jon Trickett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the capital and annual revenue costs of(a) a CT scanner and (b) an MRI scanner; what the annual repair costs are on average for each type of scanner; how much down-time following breakdowns are experienced on average by each type of scanner; and what his estimate is of the number of such scanners in the non-NHS health sector. [49801]

Yvette Cooper

[holding answer 16 April 2002]: The capital cost of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners will vary according to the exact specification of the equipment. Annual revenue costs will also vary dependent on age and specification of the equipment, staffing levels and workload and casemix at the particular hospital. The following costs are provided for guidance: The current list price of a well-specified (a) CT scanner is approximately £0.5 million and (b) MRI scanner is approximately £1 million. These costs are not inclusive of value added tax or any necessary installation or building works. Annual revenue costs will incorporate both pay and non-pay costs, such as maintenance, film, drugs or contrast agent. Total revenue costs will therefore vary according to staff numbers, scanner activity and type of maintenance contract. However, the average total annual revenue cost for both (a) CT and (b) MRI scanners could be estimated at £0.3–£0.4 million. The majority of hospitals elect to take out a fully comprehensive maintenance contract for both CT and MRI scanners. The cost of all servicing and repairs is included within a fully comprehensive annual maintenance contract, which costs approximately (a) £50,000 for a CT scanner and (b) £70,000 for a MRI scanner. Under a fully comprehensive maintenance contract, a supplier of CT or MRI scanners will usually quote an uptime guarantee for new equipment of 98 per cent. This means that the supplier is confident that there will be no more than 2 per cent unplanned downtime, which would roughly equate to 5–6 days per year. Older equipment may have greater servicing requirements and the cost of a maintenance contract with a 98 per cent guarantee could be significantly more expensive. In this case, other contracts, with a lesser percentage guarantee are available at reduced cost. In every case, there are financial penalties to suppliers if they do not meet their uptime guarantee. It is estimated that there are approximately (a) 40 CT scanners and (b) 60 MRI scanners installed in the non-National Health Service sector in England. It is difficult to provide accurate figures in this respect since private healthcare providers are not required to submit details about facilities or workload to the Department.