The owners of seven Shetland pelagic fishing vessels are to donate £100,000 to the MRI Scanner Appeal.
The Whalsay families behind the Adenia, Antarctic II, Antares, Charisma, Research, Serene and Zephyr decided to make the sizeable contribution as a gesture of support for the Shetland Health Board Endowment Fund, the charity behind the appeal.
They hope that this significant endorsement of the local appeal will help to stimulate the fund further by enabling the organisers to lever in additional funding from local and national sources.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association pelagic committee chairman and Charisma skipper Davie Hutchison said: “The case for the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick to have its own MRI scanner, which is used to diagnose and monitor a huge variety of medical conditions, is overwhelming.
“It will result in big savings in travel costs and reduce stress and inconvenience for patients.
“The pelagic fishermen all felt very strongly that this project will bring real benefit to our whole community and we are delighted to be able to come together and support this unique cause in the manner we have.
“It is our understanding that once 50% of the funding target has been met, applications can be made to other funding bodies outside Shetland and that has to be the goal.”
Lorraine Hall, from Shetland Health Board, said the donation was “overwhelmingly generous and accepted with gratitude”.
“This donation has set the MRI Scanner Appeal on track to reach its target of £1.650 million. Thank you to all the families involved.”
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.
An MRI scan can be used to examine almost any part of the body. The results of a scan can be used to help diagnose conditions such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia and MS, and allow treatments to be planned. Follow up scans can allow medics to assess how effective treatments have been.
At present all patients requiring such scans must travel to Aberdeen to have them carried out.