May 06, 2016

Government and Community Invest in a New CT Scanner in Rural Saskatchewan

Donors, healthcare providers, health authority board members and community members today celebrated the new, more advanced computed tomography (CT) scanner at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre.  Clients are receiving faster, more detailed scans since the new machine went into service in early April.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit joined Sunrise Health Region representatives, healthcare providers, partner agencies and local dignitaries at the event.

“Our government is proud to contribute $600,000 toward replacing and upgrading the CT scanner in Yorkton,” Ottenbreit said.  “This new technology improves the quality and safety of medical imaging services for clients in east-central Saskatchewan.”

The equipment replaces a 10 year-old scanner that reached its life expectancy.  The installation required renovations in the space and upgrades to the power and cooling systems.  Medical radiation technologists received training on the new enhanced scanner and software.

The provincial government contributed half the $1.2 million cost toward the replacement of the CT scanner while the Health Foundation of East Central Saskatchewan took on the task of fundraising the remaining $600,000.  When the funding was announced in April 2015, the health region was able to take advantage of cost savings as part of a provincially-negotiated contract with the medical imaging supplier.

“We are very pleased with how well the CT scanner removal and replacement process went and are grateful to Regina Qu’Appelle and Saskatoon Health Regions for assisting when our CT scanner was unavailable,” Sunrise Health Region President and CEO Suann Laurent said.  “Today is an exciting celebration for the region as this technologically-advanced equipment is integral to the work of our medical diagnostics team and will greatly benefit our clients with new comfort and safety features.”

There is much advancement in technology with the new CT scanner.  Greater detail is possible due to the capacity for 128 slice scans, a significant improvement from the previous 16 slice CT scanner.  Scans are faster, which reduces radiation exposure for clients.  The new CT scanner has additional safety features, including a closed-circuit camera which enables technologists to view clients during the exam.

Quicker scans are more comfortable for clients, and the new scanner bed can handle people who are larger in terms of both height and weight.

“We are excited that with the newer technology we can provide a better quality service to clients,” Sunrise Regional Health Authority Interim Board Chairperson Don Rae said.  “On behalf of the health authority board, I want to say a special thank you to everyone who helped with the purchase and installation of this equipment, our Sunrise Health Region staff and our generous community.”

More than 5,000 CT scans are completed each year at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre in Sunrise Health Region.