Northern Health inching closer to bringing MRI machines to FSJ and Terrace

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Northern Health is making significant progress in bringing MRI machines to Fort St. John as well as Terrace.

The Request for Proposals has been completed and the tender has been awarded for 3 MRI imaging machines. This is all apart of the Northern Health 10-year medical imaging strategy.

Siemens has been awarded the tender. They will now be meeting with Northern Health officials to develop the plan for installation as well as commissioning.

“We support Northern Health’s commitment to bringing the best care closer to people’s homes,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Our government has made a commitment to help deliver this service for residents, and the successful completion of the RFP for the new MRIs will allow us to better serve the people of northern B.C.”

They first looked at mobile MRI machines, but after the tender was awarded and commitment from the Regional Hospital Districts, they have decided to go with permanent machines.

Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace and the Fort St. John Hospital and Health Centre will receive new MRIs, and University Hospital of Northern BC will replace their current MRI machine, which is the oldest in BC.

“We know that with our large region there is travel required for various procedures and tests, and being able to offer MRIs to people in the northwest and northeast we can reduce some of the travel burden,” said Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health’s chief executive officer and president. “The 10-year strategy for medical imaging will evolve over time as technology changes and this is a first step in enhanced medical imaging opportunities in our communities.”

The cost for all 3 machines as well as installation is $8.3 million. The funding will be provided by the province of BC, 3 regional hospital districts and Northern Health. Local foundations can also contribute should they choose to join in the partnership.

The 10-year plan will help with MRI as well as Ultrasound imaging.