The Peace River Regional Hospital District will put around $1 million toward an MRI machine at the Fort St. John hospital.
Northern Health is seeking to install the medical imaging equipment, which will mean patients no longer need to leave the region to access the procedure.
MRI—Magnetic Resonance Imaging—is vital for cancer detection and treatment, treatment of neurological conditions, and certain surgical procedures. No hospital in Northeast B.C. currently has MRI equipment.
Northern Health aims to purchase the $2.6 million piece of equipment in the coming weeks, with installation sometime before the end of the year.
“Most patients will no longer have to travel to Prince George or out of province to access an MRI exam,” Northern Health wrote in a letter to the hospital district. “As MRI technology advances and the clinical utilization continues to expand, having a fixed MRI unit in Fort St. John will provide the required capacity and access to the residents of the Northeast."
PRRD Chief Administrative Officer Chris Cvik said that according to Northern Health, Dawson Creek was looked at as a possible home base for MRI services in the region. The Fort St. John hospital, however, was specifically designed for MRI, meaning there would be no additional renovation or capital costs.
The equipment will be paid for out of a hospital district fund for medical equipment.