The province is promising two new CT scanners and the staff to operate them at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre.
On Friday, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced the plan to invest $15 million for the new scanners, saying it will help reduce wait times.
“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,” Gordon said in a news release.
One of the scanners will be new to the health centre, while the second one will have aging equipment replaced.
The province said having two scanners will allow the health centre to perform 34,000 CT scans a year, which is up from the current 17,000.
“This new technology will enhance diagnosis and treatment planning, and will improve patient care and outcomes,” said Mohammed Bhabha, the executive director of diagnostic imaging operation for Shared Health.
He added this will result in better care for patients who attend the health centre.
“The new CT scanners will provide staff with modernized equipment and improved work environment they need to work more efficiently and make the best treatment decisions possible.”
Marion Ellis, the CEO of the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority said they are thankful for the new scanners and said they will benefit all who require the health centre for care.
“I do believe I speak for all of our care teams here in Selkirk and our care teams throughout the region, when I say how very grateful we are for the replacement of the old CT scanner, that I may add was very, very well used, and the addition of a new scanner,” said Ellis. “It really is what our physicians and care team have wanted and they feel so grateful that their ask was heard.”
In an emailed statement, Jason Linklater, the president of the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals, said this announcement doesn’t address how the province is going to bring in more staff.
“With staffing vacancies in diagnostics almost doubling in the past year, and a multi-million dollar PET scanner sitting idle at HSC due to staffing issues, we believe that this is yet another example of the Minister continuing to make promises with no plan to follow through,” he said.
“The staffing crisis continues to worsen as Allied Health professionals wait more than five years for a new contract, and while other provinces draw our skilled Allied Health professionals away.”
The Selkirk Regional Health Centre is also in the process of an expansion which will add 30 acute care inpatient beds and three emergency department treatment spaces.