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New MRI Scanner Officially Opened in Dauphin

DAUPHIN—A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner in Dauphin is now accepting patients, increasing access and reducing travel times for residents in Manitoba’s Parkland region who require this diagnostic service, Premier Brian Pallister announced here today.

“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,” said Pallister.  “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, which is projected to perform approximately 3,500 scans per year, is expected to reduce the number of inter-facility transfers required for patients who would previously have been transferred to another site, such as Brandon or Winnipeg, to receive a diagnostic scan.  As patients who would have had scans at other sites are scheduled for MRI appointments in Dauphin, spaces will open up at other sites, reducing waits provincewide.

“The opening of this new site builds on our work to reduce wait times to transform our health-care system,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen.  “As we make changes to ensure access to consistent, reliable care, we will continue to invest in opportunities to reduce wait times for Manitoba families.”

The addition of the scanner is expected to further enhance the recent success in tackling MRI wait times across the province.  Since July 2017, average wait times for MRIs have seen a 30 per cent improvement, declining to 16 weeks from 24.

“This project has been a testament to the dedication and commitment shown by our stakeholders who worked diligently to bring this important diagnostic service to this part of the health region and province,” said Penny Gilson, chief executive officer, Prairie Mountain Health.  “With another MRI unit now operational within our region, we know this will help reduce the burden and stress on patients and families who would otherwise have to travel greater distances to have their MRI scan done.”

“The new MRI machine will significantly improve access to health services for people in the region, particularly for our aging population,” said Doug Deans, chair, Dauphin Hospital Foundation.  “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.”

MRIs makes detailed images of organs and structures inside the body using magnetic fields and radio waves.  The scanner and building cost approximately $7 million, the minister noted.

“MRIs are crucial for making important diagnoses and monitoring illnesses,” said Dr. Brock Wright, chief executive officer, Shared Health.  “The addition of this equipment in Dauphin will enable Manitobans in this part of the province to access these valuable services much closer to home.”

The scanner is located close to Dauphin Regional Health Centre’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.

Photo Caption: (from left to right: Honourable Cameron Friesen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Dr. Brock Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Shared Health, Dr. Shaun Gauthier, Vice-President, Medical and Diagnostic Services, Prairie Mountain Health, Mr. Doug Deans, Chairman, Dauphin Hospital Foundation, and Honourable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba.)

For more information on the Dauphin MRI, visit http://sharedhealthmb.ca/images/news/Dauphin-MRI-Media-FAQ-Dec-13.pdf 

For more information on wait times in Manitoba, visit www.gov.mb.ca/healthcaresooner/index.html.

For more information on the province’s health system transformation, visit:
www.gov.mb.ca/health/hst/.