Manitoba increases CT scan capacity at Swan Valley Health Centre

The Manitoba government is investing $2 million to increase access to important diagnostic testing for over 14,000 residents in the Swan Valley area, bringing testing closer to home, Health Minister Audrey Gordon announced today.

“Our government is committed to healing our health-care system by providing care closer to home for Manitobans,” said Gordon. “Investing in a new CT scanner in the Swan Valley region will significantly reduce travel time for residents in Swan River and the surrounding communities while building overall provincial capacity for the service. We thank the Town of Swan River and the surrounding Swan Valley communities for their contributions and persistence in helping to bring this project forward.”

The new technology, to be located at Swan Valley Health Centre, is expected to come online next summer. A location within the facility has been selected, the scanner has been ordered and staff have begun training so they will be qualified to operate the new equipment, the minister noted.

Once operational, the scanner will enhance diagnosis and treatment planning and improve the overall patient experience, the minister added. The new scanner will help to reduce ambulance inter-facility transfer costs, while also improving the work environment for health-care providers at Swan Valley Health Centre by providing an additional diagnostic tool to enable treatment decisions. It will also indirectly address inequities of significant travel and accommodation costs if a patient has to be served outside of their community, the minister said.

“Patients often need to travel long distances that require overnight stays, sometimes via ambulance, for CT scans in Brandon, Dauphin or Winnipeg,” said Mohammed Bhabha, executive director,  diagnostic imaging operations, Shared Health. “This equipment is expected to reduce the need for patients to travel out of the area, reduce pressures on emergency response services and increase our provincial capacity, meaning more people will be helped sooner.”

In addition to a Manitoba government investment of more than $2 million, community groups have contributed $1 million toward the project, which includes equipment, installation and renovation of the space at the Swan Valley Health Centre.

“We thank the Manitoba government for recognizing the importance in investing in health care in the Swan River Valley,” said Mayor Lance Jacobson, Town of Swan River. “This CT scanner will save lives in the Swan River Valley and benefit our medical professional recruitment and retention efforts.”

The CT scanner is expected to be in service next summer, the minister noted.

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