Mobile MRI will deliver service to rural patients

Soon US$ 4.5-million MRI machine will roll out in the Aspen and East Central Health regions to bring health scans in rural residents. The mobile unit will travel between Cold Lake, Hinton, Westlock, Camrose and Lloydminster to improve imaging services outside the Edmonton area. This is the only machine-on-wheels in Alberta, which covers a broad swatch of land from Jasper in the west to Cold Lake in the east, including an area north of Edmonton. So far, 245 patients have used the service and reduced their travel time and the stress of driving and parking in the big city. ASPAN is expecting to scan 3,500 to 4,000 people annually with the new unit, and East Central Health hopes to help 3,000 people in the first year. The new machine will also decrease the volumes of MRIs done in Edmonton and allow Capital Health to provide the services to others. The Aspen and East Central regions have dedicated funding to pay for the MRI and will share the estimated annual operating costs of US$ 1.3 million.


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