Plans for new scanners for Daisy Hill cannot be put in place until a £10 million electrical upgrade at the Newry-based hospital has been carried out, it has been confirmed.
And the completion of the electrical upgrade required will depend upon available funding.
The Catch-22 came to light in response to questions by Newry and Armagh MLA Liz Kimmins.
The Sinn Fein representative had asked Health Minister Robin Swann for confirmation over future provision for scanners at Daisy Hill and whether or not this was aligned to the need for an electrical upgrade.
The Minister confirmed that the Southern Trust “plans to procure a permanent second CT Scanner and an MRI Scanner on the Daisy Hill Hospital site”.
But he confirmed: “This is not possible until an electrical upgrade is complete.”
Pressed for an update on such an upgrade, Mr Swann revealed the Southern Trust had submitted a bid to upgrade the electrical network at the hospital as part of a recent capital planning review exercise.
The Minister added: “The cost of this upgrade is estimated in the region of £10m.
“The Trust is currently considering the phasing of the work over a number of years in order to spread the costs. A Business Case will also be required to support these proposals.
“Funding for this scheme will be considered alongside other capital priorities as we evaluate what can be funded within the draft 2022-25 budget settlement.”