The new MRI machine announced for Ridge Meadows Hospital almost two years ago has yet to be installed at the facility, but Fraser Health assures the public that will happen sometime in 2019.
The magnetic resonance imaging machine was hailed as the best thing that could happen to for the medical imaging department of the hospital when it was announced in February 2017.
As it stands, patients from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows still must visit another hospital to access on of the 25 MRI machines around the province.
It was one of four new MRI machines announced at the time, with others slated for Surrey, Vernon and Nanaimo hospitals, They were all expected to be in place by 2018, and were part of an overall health strategy to have more medical imaging.
Fraser Health said the MRI is on-track to open at Ridge Meadows Hospital in 2019.
“We are very excited about being able to provide more MRI scans for our patients,” said spokesperson Tasleem Juma. “These scans provide important information a person’s physician can use to make decisions about their treatment and care.
“With the addition of this scanner in Maple Ridge, we will be able to provide thousands more scans each year to residents living in communities across Fraser Health.”
Asked for the reason for the long delay, she said “As with any major piece of equipment, we need to make sure the space and supporting infrastructure is appropriate.
“In this case, we are moving some of our other hospital resources around to better support the new MRI and improve patient services at the same time.”
An MRI machine generally has a cost of $5 million, depending on the procurement process.