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Northern Health says Fort St. John MRI has surpassed 300 scans

The new MRI at the Fort St. John Hospital. Photo by Chris Newton
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials from Northern Health, the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation, and the Hospital Auxiliary announced today that the new MRI unit at the Fort St. John Hospital has now performed its first 300 exams.

The new MRI unit at the Hospital went into service in late September, following approximately 5 months of construction, and equipment testing. The unit is expected to do approximately 2,000 scans in its first year of operation, based on funding from the provincial government.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. In many cases, an MRI gives information about structures in the body that cannot be seen as well with an X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan.

The Fort St. John MRI is one of three that were installed in Northern B.C. in 2017, along with a new MRI in Terrace and a replacement unit in Prince George. Together, the new units triple the number of MRI’s in the region, improving access and wait times and bringing services closer to home for residents across the north.

The cost of the Fort St. John MRI project totalled $2.6 million. The B.C. Ministry of Health chipped in $1.36 million, $1.04 million came from the PRRD, while the Hospital Foundation and Hospital Auxiliary donated $150,000 and $50,000 respectively.

“The addition of equipment like the MRI to the Fort St John Hospital is important to residents of Northeast B.C., saving patients time and money and reducing wait times for diagnostic imaging procedures,” said Chris Maundrell, Chair of the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation Board. “It’s another step in enhancing patient care and comfort in the Fort St John Hospital, and the Foundation and its donors are thrilled to have been able to support this project.”

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