Saturday August 23, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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Southeast Saskatchewan to receive CT services in 2015

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People living in southeast Saskatchewan will have improved access to state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment when computed tomography (CT) services open at St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan in 2015.

"Demand for medical imaging services is increasing as our province's population continues to grow," said Minister responsible for Rural and Remote Health Tim McMillan. "Adding CT services in Estevan will help reduce wait times for medical imaging services in southern Saskatchewan so patients can get the care they need sooner. This is an important step toward our 2019 goal of reducing diagnostic wait times by half in the province."

The number of patients receiving CT service in Saskatchewan has increased 22 per cent since 2008-09 (from 79,856 in 2008-09 to an expected 97,330 in 2014-15).

"Thanks to government, wait times will be reduced for the residents of Sun Country Health Region," said Sun Country Health Region CEO Marga Cugnet. "Access to both elective investigations and emergency services for patients will vastly improve diagnosis and treatment to maintain health and limit disability. Locating the service in Estevan will also improve travel time and parking frustrations for our residents."

"This expansion of services equips our medical staff to better meet the needs of patients, particularly in emergency situations," said St. Joseph's Hospital of Estevan Executive Director Greg Hoffort. "CT services are critical to many aspects of medical care, as they allow physicians and specialists to make more accurate diagnoses before recommending treatment. We thank government for approving CT services, and municipal leaders and the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation who will ensure the financial requirements are met."

The St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation has committed to raise $2 million from donors - including contributions from 15 area municipalities - for the capital equipment, renovations, installation and start-up costs. The provincial government will take over funding for all operating costs after the initial start-up phase.

"Our communities have long recognized the benefits of having CT services in southeast Saskatchewan," said Foundation Vice-Chair and City of Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig. "We are confident that in addition to the major contributions announced today, communities, families and businesses will show strong support for the campaign to get this service up and running."

In addition to better access to diagnoses of injuries and internal medical problems, CT services in Estevan will allow residents to benefit from innovative work already developed in the health region. A provincial acute stroke pathway currently in development will use CT scanning to aid care decisions in the important first hours after a stroke.


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