Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 24, 2011


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New Funding Will Reduce Wait Times, Bring More Advanced Diagnostic Equipment Closer to Home: Oswald
The province will commit $120 million over the next four years to provide new and upgraded medical equipment at various facilities throughout Manitoba including new MRIs at the Grace, Selkirk and Dauphin hospitals, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.
“Our new $120-million medical equipment fund will ensure Manitoba families have even better access to advanced diagnostic testing closer to home,” said Oswald.  “By adding new equipment and replacing older, less-efficient machines with modern, specialized technology, doctors and health professionals will be able to provide more timely and accurate diagnostic services and treatment to patients across our province.”
The $120-million investment will include new MRI machines at Grace Hospital in Winnipeg and in the hospitals in Selkirk and Dauphin.  There are currently eight MRIs in the provincial health-care system, up from only three in 1999.  These machines will add capacity for thousands of additional scans and contribute to further reducing wait times, Oswald noted.
Other new and upgraded equipment will include:
  • a new cardiac CT scanner at St. Boniface General Hospital;
  • replacement of the CT scanners at Grace and Selkirk general hospitals with newer, upgraded machines;
  • ultrasound scanners at Portage District General Hospital in Portage la Prairie, in the Fetal Assessment Unit at St. Boniface General Hospital and two at the Health Sciences Centre,  one at the Children’s Hospital and one for echocardiography in pediatrics;
  • replacement of the radiographic/fluoroscopic suite at Seven Oaks General Hospital to provide support for surgery patients as well as the speech language and renal programs;
  • replacement of the radiology suites in Melita and Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg;
  • a portable C-arm X-ray image intensifier at Deer Lodge Centre, which allows X-ray images to be taken at various angles; and
  • a dual-head gamma camera with SPEC/CT capabilities at Victoria General Hospital to provide doctors with sophisticated images to diagnose conditions such as cancer. 
Dr.  Brock Wright, senior vice-president and chief medical officer, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said the investment will improve access to quality care while enhancing the patient experience.
“These investments will help ensure our health-care staff has access to the latest technology and provide them with more and better information when assessing patients’ health issues,” said Wright.  “As always, the more information doctors, nurses and others have, the better the decisions they can make.”
“These enhancements are focused primarily on diagnostic imaging and cardiac services.  They will help to reduce wait times and ensure better, faster, more dependable service,” said Oswald.
Additional new and upgraded equipment will be funded based on recommendations from doctors and regional health authorities across the province over the next four years, she said.
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