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New Diagnostic Imaging Equipment

Sun Country Regional Health Authority will purchase diagnostic imaging equipment valued at approximately $117,000, thanks to funding from Saskatchewan Health.

The region will purchase a new X-ray machine to replace a unit at St. Joseph's Hospital in Estevan that had been in service for over 20 years. The region identified the equipment as a high priority.

"This investment will help the region increase its capacity to provide residents with timely diagnostic imaging services," Health Minister Len Taylor said. "We are committed to improving access to these services, and we continue to make steady progress on a coordinated provincial diagnostic imaging strategy."

"The Sun Country Regional Health Authority is working with St. Joseph's Hospital to replace its outdated equipment," the health region's CEO Cal Tant said. "Saskatchewan Health has contributed $117,000 towards the purchase of a $500,000 technologically advanced X-ray system."

In total, Saskatchewan Health is distributing over $5 million to health regions to upgrade and replace diagnostic imaging equipment. That includes $300,000 in funding saved last year because health regions purchased equipment in bulk through the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations.

Tant added that this approach also saved the health region the time and effort involved in initiating its own formal procurement process.

Approximately two-thirds of the provincial funding will be used to replace or upgrade equipment to make it capable of producing digital images. The province is beginning implementation of a Radiology Information System (RIS) and the accompanying Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS). These systems will improve diagnostic imaging services, and make images and results available electronically to health care providers across the province.

Recent investments in diagnostic imaging services has significantly increased the services being provided. In 2005-06, Saskatchewan provided 22 per cent more MRI exams, 16 per cent more CT scans, and 37 per cent more bone mineral density tests. MRI wait times dropped most dramatically, falling 42 per cent over the last two years.

For more information, contact:
Joan Petrie @ 787-4083 or Cal Tant @ 842-8718

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