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March 8, 2004

Second MRI Unit Opens at Health Sciences Centre

Manitobans will benefit from increased diagnostic services with the opening of a new state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Unit at Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre.

This new MRI, unveiled at the Health Sciences Centre today, includes the latest in MRI technology and will significantly reduce wait times for this important diagnostic procedure.

"The investment in this MRI and other diagnostic equipment is a key component of Manitoba's Wait Time Reduction Strategy," said Health Minister Dave Chomiak. "The Canadian Association of Radiologists recently named this province as having the third best wait times in the country for this test. This MRI will help us build on this success.'

"MRI technology has become an essential part of the diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease", said Dr. Brock Wright, HSC Chief Operating Officer HSC and VP and Chief Medical Officer WRHA. "The increased performance capabilities of this state-of-the art MRI will provide our medical staff and technologists with better image quality and often, decrease the scan time required for our patients."

The installation of this second scanner at HSC will provide improved access to MRI technology for patients throughout the region, Dr. Blake McClarty, WRHA Medical Director Diagnostic Imaging said.

"This additional machine means our technologists and radiologists have the tools necessary to improve diagnostic services to patients," he said.

Last year nearly 4800 MRI procedures were conducted at the Health Sciences Centre, almost 25 per cent of them involving pediatric patients. With this new installation, HSC expects the number of MRI procedures to double in the coming year.

The purchase and installation for this new MRI unit involved a commitment of nearly $4.2 million in capital and annual operating funding of $900,000 from Manitoba Health.

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