September 25, 2020

New CT Scanner in Melfort to Improve Access to Diagnosis and Treatment

Thousands of Patients Will Receive Scans Faster and Closer to Home

A $2.25 million project to provide residents in Central and Northern Saskatchewan with improved access to computed tomography imaging (CT scan) services at the Melfort Hospital is making progress.

The 2020-21 Provincial Budget includes $2.25 million for renovating the Medical Imaging Department, the purchase of a new CT scanner and operational costs.  The service will provide 10 to 15 scans per day or 2,600 to 3,900 scans per year in Melfort and will significantly improve the ability to meet demand across Central and Northern areas.

“We are fulfilling a promise to improve access for local patients to medical imaging services and important diagnostic equipment as close to home as possible,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Warren Kaeding said.  “The completion of this project will significantly reduce travel time for patients in Melfort and surrounding area.”

Saskatchewan has seen a growing number of patients referred for CT services in recent years, resulting in the need for increased capacity.  More than 120,000 patients received a CT scan in 2019-20.

“Increasing service capacity in Melfort helps reduce wait times for patients across Central and Northern Saskatchewan,” Melfort MLA Todd Goudy said.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority expects to complete the vendor selection process for new equipment and renovations to the Medical Imaging Department by the end of September.   Next steps, beginning in October, will include construction work, installation of equipment and completion of training for several hospital staff members.  The goal is to provide CT scan services for the first patients in early 2021.

"Having CT capability in Melfort is another step forward in providing services that allow our patients to save travel time and help improve health outcomes while reducing pressure on the CT services in Prince Albert and Saskatoon,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Executive Director of Diagnostic Imaging Bryan Witt said.  “It also improves access to a valuable diagnostic tool for physicians across Central North East Saskatchewan.”

CT exams provide highly-advanced diagnostic images, showing multiple detailed, cross-sectional views of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues inside the body to detect the extent of injuries, disease, blood clots and other abnormalities.