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Diagnostic imaging

MRI scanner installed in Gander, Newfoundland

GANDER, Nfld. – A $3 million magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system at the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre was officially opened by the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services. Minister Kennedy was joined by Karen McGrath (pictured), Chief Executive Officer of Central Health Centre for the announcement.

“The opening of the MRI suite in Gander will ensure that residents in the central region of the province have access to important diagnostic procedures without having to travel long distances,” said Minister Kennedy. “Our government is committed to reducing wait times and ensuring that the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador have access to the latest healthcare technology.”

The new MRI unit began operating in early December and is being used for both the adult and pediatric patient population. The unit is now fully operational. “The addition of this MRI unit complements the numerous investments the James Paton facility has received in recent years,” said Minister O’Brien. “Having one of four such units in the province certainly elevates the level of care available to residents in central Newfoundland and will allow those who require this service to receive care closer to their home.”

The suite holding the MRI unit was prepared by Central Health’s Plant Services and Maintenance Department as well as a number of specialized contractors in consultation with the main MRI vendor, General Electric.

There are currently three other MRI units in the province - two in St. John’s and one Corner Brook. “Having an MRI in central Newfoundland offers an important service to the people of this region and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge everyone who contributed to making this a reality,” said Ms. McGrath. “This investment once again demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest possible quality of care in the region.”

Since 2003, the Provincial Government has invested approximately $17 million in capital equipment, repairs and renovations at the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre and Lakeside Homes. This includes almost $13.7 million for medical equipment such as digital X-ray and mammography units, dialysis machines, cardiac stress test equipment and three new ambulances.

Approximately $3.3 million was invested in repairs and upgrades, including renovations to the cancer clinic and protective care unit, and upgrades to fire alarm and kitchen equipment.

In addition, approximately $15.7 million has been invested since 2003 in the James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre redevelopment project Budget 2010: The Right Investments – For Our Children and Our Future includes $208.9 million for healthcare infrastructure throughout the province. This includes $177.3 million for new facilities and equipment and $31.6 million for repairs and renovations.

Posted April 21, 2011