New MRI machine to see temporary home

The Yukon government plans to spend $2.8 million this year to build a temporary home for the territory's new magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

The Yukon government plans to spend $2.8 million this year to build a temporary home for the territory’s new magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

The machine’s purchase will be part of an expansion of the hospital’s emergency department.

That plan is expected to take four or five years to complete. Instead of waiting until then, the MRI will be housed in a temporary area until it can be moved to its permanent home.

The new space will be about 150 square metres, said the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s Warren Holland.

“It’s large enough to house the magnet (and) the various IT equipment required to run it. You’ve got patient washrooms, staff washrooms, staff admin space and space to prepare the patient before they go into the room. It’s the whole program in one space.”

The Yukon Hospital Foundation has raised $2 million to purchase the MRI. In December 2012 the Yukon government agreed to match that money.

The new space is expected to be completed, with the MRI up and running, by November.

It’s being built in the courtyard space between the labs and the specialists clinic.

Once the MRI is moved to its permanent home in the emergency department, the suite will be converted and used for another, yet-to-be-decided role.

The hospital corporation is in the process of choosing a vender to buy the MRI from, Holland said.

A request for proposals has been sent out and several companies have expressed interest, he said.

The tender closes at the end of this month and then there is an evaluation process, he said.

“That will probably be the next big announcement, the selection of the vendor.”

On top of covering the costs of this temporary home, the government has also approved $265,000 to cover operation and maintenance costs for the MRI service for its first months of operation in 2014/15.

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