98 The Beach

98 The Beach

Monday, November 5, 2018

Local Funding Sought For MRI Machine

Regional | by John Divinski  

Hospital asks for local funding to replace one of the oldest MRI machines in Canada.

Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS) is looking for an estimated 4.7-million-dollars to purchase a new MRI machine, along with imaging suite renovations or a new build at the Owen Sound site.

A group,  led by GBHS Chief of medical imaging, Dr. Colin McIver, was before Bruce County Council recently asking for a $400,000 donation to be spread over two years.

Dr. McIver says the county just completed giving $200,000 over five years to GBHS for modern medical equipment and now they're asking that the annual amount continue for another two years.

McIver says GBHS has one of the oldest MRIs in Canada at 14-years-old and getting parts for it is becoming more difficult.

The MRI is used on average, 11,000 times a year at Owen Sound and a large contingent of users come from Bruce County.

He says they're on the cusp of choosing the vendor to sell them a new MRI and they hope to have it operational by next Spring.

In the meantime, they need to come up with the money--much of which will come from the five Hospital Foundations within GBHS, along with various other private donors.

McIver points out, getting a new up-to-date MRI machine means average test times will be reduced and as a result more patients can be tested more quickly.

In addition, the machine is quieter and larger to accommodate all patients.

Currently, larger patients who simply do not fit into the old MRI have to be sent to London for service, which can be a great inconvenience to all concerned.

Dr. McIver also points out a new state-of-the-art MRI can attract doctors to the region.

He says physicians who are now training and graduating and beginning practices, require MRI for their daily work.

McIver says the new slate of doctors can't work without that piece of equipment and it has "Pushed the boundaries of our diagnostic abilities, substantially."

No commitment has been made by Bruce County, but it will likely come up at budget talks that will begin in the next few months.

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