The Yukon Hospital Foundation aims to raise $2 million over the next three years to buy a magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
The device uses powerful magnets and radio waves to produce detailed images of the organs inside a body. MRI scans are commonly used to look for everything from tumours to heart problems.
Approximately 500 Yukoners fly to southern cities for MRI scans each year. Non-critical patients must wait, on average, six months, said Scott Kent, president of the foundation.
Having an MRI scanner in Whitehorse General Hospital is expected to reduce wait times to one to three weeks, said Kent. “That’s a huge benefit.”
Having such a device in Whitehorse would also lessen the discomfort of sick patients by cutting down on their travel time, he said.
Donations to the foundation go entirely toward new gear, and not towards administration costs, said Kent.
Capstone Mining Corporation, which owns Yukon’s Minto mine, got the ball rolling September 14, when it announced it would put up $180,000 over three years.
The foundation’s major annual fundraising event, the Festival of Trees, starts November 18 and runs until November 28.