Patients in Saskatchewan may have quicker access to MRI scans as the province opens its newest unit.
On Thursday morning, health officials were on hand in Moose Jaw to celebrate the opening of the MRI unit at the city’s new hospital.
“This MRI service is an important step toward meeting increased demand and ensuring that patients can be diagnosed and treated sooner, and closer to home,” said Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health Greg Ottenbreit in a news release.
With growing demand for scans in the province, the government says 370 patients who were waiting for procedures in Saskatoon or Regina have been rescheduled to the Moose Jaw unit. The machine will be able to provide up to 3,000 scans in the first year alone.
When the MRI was first announced in 2014, Health Minister Dustin Duncan said it would be the seventh permanent unit at a Saskatchewan hospital.
The government reports that the public health system is on track to provide about 33,500 scans though 2015-16.
The cost for the equipment and hospital addition totals $3.46 million. Operating costs will be covered by the Ministry of Health.