Sunday September 14, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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New MRI in Moose Jaw to benefit south Sask. patients

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The new regional hospital in Moose Jaw will be home to a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit, improving access to diagnostic imaging services for patients across southern Saskatchewan.

"As Saskatchewan's population has grown, the demand for medical imaging services like MRI's also grows," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Our government is committed to putting patients first and providing the best equipment and services possible. This new MRI aligns with our goal of providing sooner, safer and smarter health care to the people of Saskatchewan."

Since 2008-09, the number of patients receiving MRI service in Saskatchewan has almost doubled from 17,949 patients to an estimated 33,825 patients expected in 2014-15.

The new MRI will be the seventh permanent hospital-based unit in Saskatchewan, providing closer-to-home service that will reduce wait times for medical diagnosis and treatment for patients. It is an important step in meeting government's target to cut the wait time for diagnostics in half by March 31, 2019.

The Ministry of Health will fund the operating costs associated with the new MRI, beginning in 2015-16. The Moose Jaw Health Foundation has committed to raise 100 per cent of the $3.3 million cost of the MRI unit, building space and installation.

"This is an exciting and historic day for the residents of our health region and for our ability to deliver the best services for those we serve," Five Hills Health Region CEO Cheryl Craig said. "We are thankful for both the support of the Ministry of Health and the partnership of the Moose Jaw Health Foundation in bringing this to fruition. The addition of MRI into our suite of diagnostic imaging tools means our patients will be able to receive service closer to home and in a more timely way."

"In preparation for our capital campaign, the Foundation surveyed its donors and they clearly indicated that MRI was a medical service they wanted to see at our new regional hospital," Moose Jaw Health Foundation Capital Campaign Chair Dave Reidy said. "In response to donor feedback, as part of the $8 million capital campaign goal, the Foundation has committed $3.3 million to the construction of the diagnostic imaging space and the purchase of the MRI. The Foundation will need the help of donors throughout the entire region to achieve this goal to ensure that patients have access to the care they deserve, and that health care professionals have the tools they need to provide that care."

The new regional hospital in Moose Jaw is currently under construction, and is targeted for completion in spring 2015. The new MRI is planned for 2016.


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