May 11, 2012
A new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner is now operational at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s. The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services, was joined at St. Clare’s by Dr. Oscar Howell, Vice-President with responsibility for Diagnostic Imaging, Eastern Health, to view the new MRI and officially recognize this milestone.
“The Provincial Government has put great emphasis on updating and enhancing diagnostic services throughout the province,” said Minister Sullivan. “With the addition of this MRI unit we are increasing access, speeding up diagnostic testing and improving the delivery of our health care services. We have taken great strides to tackle wait times in all areas of our health care system and this newest MRI unit is another important piece of equipment that will benefit Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The addition of the new MRI will result in 4,500 more scans completed each year at Eastern Health. This increased capacity will have a positive impact on the overall waitlist. In Budget 2010, the Provincial Government allocated $4.4 million for the MRI unit at St. Clare’s. With the introduction of this new unit, there are now five MRIs located throughout the province.
“We are very pleased to have this MRI up and running at St. Clare’s thanks to the substantial investment by the Provincial Government,” said Dr. Howell. “Our immediate priority will be to address the current backlog of people who are waiting for an MRI exam. The additional MRI scanner will result in improved patient access resulting in earlier diagnosis and ultimately, more timely treatment for our patients.”
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a medical imaging technology that uses a powerful magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to scan detailed pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It is particularly useful in imaging the brain, the heart, muscles and cancers because it provides good contrast between the different soft tissues of the body.
Over the past several years, the Provincial Government has made significant investments in diagnostic equipment and services throughout the province providing new CT scanners in Labrador City, St. Anthony, Burin, Carbonear, and the Janeway in St. John’s bringing the total number of CT scanners throughout the province to 14. New digital mammography units have also been provided throughout the province bringing the provincial complement to 16. In addition to the new MRI at St. Clare’s, MRIs are also located at the Health Sciences Centre and Janeway in St. John’s, James Paton Memorial Health Centre in Gander and Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook.
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