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Manitoba invests $30 million in medical technology

Sharon BladyWINNIPEG – Patients across Manitoba will receive even better services and treatment with the purchase of more than $30 million of new healthcare equipment, Health Minister Sharon Blady (pictured) announced this month.

“Better tests lead to better results for Manitobans when they are sick,” said Minister Blady. “By investing in this equipment, we are giving healthcare providers the tools they need to get answers as soon as possible and provide even better care for patients.”

The funding includes $3.4 million to purchase and install a replacement magnetic resonance imager (MRI) at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. In 2014-15, nearly 8,000 scans were performed by one MRI at the facility. The minister noted the province is working to add capacity to the system by fulfilling commitments to install MRI scanners at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, as well as in Dauphin and Selkirk.

“As technology improves and evolves, it is important for care providers to keep up with those advances to provide current, safe, high-quality healthcare and to promote the best health outcomes possible for the people of Manitoba,” said Lori Lamont, interim chief executive officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Other investments will include:

• $1.5 million to purchase and install new digital X-ray suites at the Seven Oaks General Hospital and the Grace General Hospital in Winnipeg;

• $2 million to purchase and install specialized equipment at CancerCare Manitoba that will allow for more targeted radiation treatments for breast, ovarian, cervical and other cancers, including a CT simulator that when not in use for treating gynecological cancers, will be used for other patients with complex care needs;

• $670,000 for upgrades including equipment to disinfect medical devices used in endoscopy procedures at the Dauphin Regional Health Centre;

• $400,000 for a new workstation and software at St. Boniface General Hospital for Holter analysis, which is part of electrocardiogram monitoring; and $291,000 for equipment upgrades for electrocardiogram monitoring at the Brandon Regional Health Centre.

In 2012-13, more than 23,000 scans were performed by one X-ray suite at the Seven Oaks General Hospital. More than 21,000 scans were performed by one X-ray suite at the Grace General Hospital.

The minister noted the purchase and installation of new equipment can improve diagnosis and treatment, often leading to quicker results, support staff retention by providing modern, up-to-date equipment, reduce testing duplication, and improve comfort for patients and staff.

Every year, the province invests more than $30 million in new and replacement equipment across Manitoba. The minister noted that since 1999, the provincial government has invested close to $375 million in new and replacement diagnostic equipment and services.

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