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MRI suite officially opens at DRHC

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The new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner officially opened in Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC), Dec. 17.
Premier Brian Pallister, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen and MLA Brad Michaleski, plus Dauphin Hospital Foundation chair Doug Deans and other dignitaries marked the event with a tour of the facility.
As Dauphin is now accepting patients, Pallister said, access will be increased and travel time reduced for Parkland residents requiring the diagnostic service.
“We are working to transform the health care system so that it provides easier access, shortened wait times and common standards of care for patients across the province,” he said.
“This new MRI shows our commitment to providing better care sooner, and closer to home for the people of Dauphin and the Parkland region.”
The new MRI machine, is projected to perform approximately 3,500 scans per year and is expected to reduce the number of inter-facility transfers required for patients who previously, would have been transferred to sites such as Brandon or Winnipeg.
As patients who would have had scans at other sites are scheduled for MRI appointments in Dauphin, spaces will open at other sites, reducing wait times province-wide.
“The opening of this new site builds on our work to reduce wait times to transform our health-care system,” Friesen said.
The addition of the scanner is expected to further enhance the recent success in tackling MRI wait times across the province.
Average wait times for MRIs have seen a 30 per cent improvement since July 2017, he added, declining to 16 weeks from 24.
MRIs make detailed images of organs and structures inside the body using magnetic fields and radio waves.
The scanner and building cost approximately $6.2 million, the minister noted.
“The new MRI machine will significantly improve access to health services for people in the region, particularly for our aging population,” noted Deans.
“The new MRI unit further strengthens access to health care services at our hospital, which has developed into a true regional health centre for the Dauphin and Parkland area.”
The scanner is located close to DRHC’s existing diagnostic imaging department and the new $23-million emergency department, which is currently under construction.
The new emergency department is slated to open in mid-2019, Friesen added.

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Staff Writer
REPORTER
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