A new mobile MRI system that will travel between Campbell River, Comox Valley, Port Alberni and Duncan will mean more Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans will be done locally and only patients who need specialized studies will have to travel down to Victoria, said Dr. John Matheson, VIHA Medical Director of Medical Imaging.
Housed in a specially designed 48-foot trailer, it was to spend two weeks in Campbell River and rotate to one of three other sites over a weekend. Those sites, Comox Valley, Port Alberni and Duncan will have the MRI for one- to two-week rotations at the outset.
The 24,041-kilogram (53,000 lbs.) mobile system is the first of its kind to be installed in a trailer in North America.
"The equipment is state-of-the-art and will support better patient care and outcomes," said Matheson.
The final purchase price for the MRI system including the trailer was approximately $3 million. Specially designed parking pads constructed this year at the four hospital sites will support the mobile MRI trailer.
The MRI system will be operated by VIHA with an annual cost of $1.4 million. Regional Hospital Districts were asked to contribute funds including: Comox Strathcona Regional District, $575,971; Cowichan Valley, $419,456; and Alberni Clayoquot, $205,183.
"The funds our regional hospital district invested in this equipment will have a direct benefit to those who live here," said Moglove.
"Our region is geographically very large, and having access to MRI technology close to home will improve health care delivery to so many who had to travel great distances before."
MRI is used to take images of organs and tissues inside the body. Through MRI, radiologists are able to view detailed internal structures of the body which in turn supports the diagnosis of many types of injuries and medical conditions.
Local dignitaries came out in the cold rain to do some official ribbon-cutting for the new mobile MRI service which made its first visit to Campbell River General Hospital.
Mayor Walter Jakeway along with city councillors Larry Samson, Ron Kerr and Claire Moglove joined Lynne Stone, constituency assistant to MLA Claire Trevena, Strathcona regional district director Brenda Leigh, sitedirector Lois Tirebuck and North Island Hospitals communications and community relations officer Dan MacLennan to hear Don Hubbard, chair of VIHA, announce the opening of the unit.
© Copyright 2013