The Manitoba government is investing more than $15 million to reduce patient wait times by adding two new scanners at Selkirk Regional Health Centre and doubling CT scan capacity for Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority.
“The Selkirk Regional Health Centre plays an important role in our health-care system, serving as a central hub for hospitals and health centres throughout the Interlake-Eastern health region,” said Health Minister Audrey Gordon. “Investing in two new CT scanners and more staff to operate those means residents in Selkirk and the broader health region will have improved access to integral diagnostic services closer to home.”
One CT scanner will be entirely new to the facility, while the other will replace aging equipment to ensure safe, reliable and efficient services. The funding will allow for double the CT scans to be performed in Selkirk to 34,000 scans from the current 17,000 scans annually. Combined, they will serve to support expected increases in endoscopy diagnoses and surgeries at the site.
“This new technology will enhance diagnosis and treatment planning, and will improve patient care and outcomes,” said Mohammed Bhabha, executive director, diagnostic imaging operations, Shared Health. “The new CT scanners will provide staff with the modernized equipment and improved work environment they need to work more efficiently and make the best treatment decisions possible.”
CT scanners combine X-ray images from several angles to create detailed, three-dimensional models of structures inside the body. They perform critical diagnostic procedures that support the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of injuries and diseases, and the new equipment will be able to complete these important scans faster and with sharper and clearer images.
“We are thankful that these new scanners are being added to the suite of modern services and technology available in Selkirk,” said Marion Ellis, CEO, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. “Thanks to this generous investment from the province, more people living in the Interlake-Eastern region will be able to more readily access diagnostic services faster. We are grateful for everyone who helped in obtaining this cutting-edge diagnostic equipment for the benefit of patients and their families.”
“Our government is committed to healing health care across Manitoba, and this investment will ensure Manitobans in and around Selkirk have better access to exceptional health-care services,” said Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Janice Morley-Lecomte at the event today on behalf of Gordon. “Doubling the capacity in the Interlake-Eastern region means more patients have access to faster care closer to home and reduces the need to travel for CT scans.”
The new scanners support Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan by providing patient care closer to home. In addition, the new scanners also align with the efforts of the Diagnostic and Surgical Recovery Task Force.
Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of investments made at Selkirk Regional Health Centre. Construction is ongoing on a planned expansion that includes a 30-bed addition to the centre’s acute care inpatient capacity, which will increase its role in Manitoba’s surgery program, Morley-Lecomte noted. Renovations to the emergency department are also occurring as part of the construction, with three additional treatment rooms added and better sight lines created for staff monitoring patients and the waiting area.
Additionally, the Manitoba government announced earlier this year that a new pain care clinic would be located at Selkirk Regional Health Centre’s outpatient clinic and will include a C-arm fluoroscopic X-ray system. Work to install the scanners is expected to begin later this year, with the equipment expected to be in use for patients in 2024, Morley-Lecomte added.