News & Updates

Health Sciences North Receives Approval for Second MRI

April 3, 2020

Ontario’s Ministry of Health gave the green light for Health Sciences North (HSN) to operate a much-needed second magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

A MRI provides valuable and lifesaving information for patients across Northeastern Ontario on everything from the functionality of a heart to allowing less invasive treatments for patients diagnosed with diseases such as prostate cancer.

HSN will also retrofit its current MRI that’s operating 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

“We have patients coming here for MRI appointments at 3 a.m.,” says Dr. Killian De Blacam, President of the Medical Staff at HSN. “They’re often travelling long distances in harsh conditions from outside Greater Sudbury — so a second machine will mean faster access to scans and more patient friendly hours. As Northeastern Ontario’s academic health sciences center, it is essential HSN be well equipped with state-of-the-art technology to support its regional role in areas like thoracic surgery, vascular surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiology, oncology and pediatrics.”

In January 2020, 20% of patients at HSN had their MRI scan completed within the provincial target time, compared to 35% for the rest of the province. Patients at HSN needing to be scanned within 2 days, waited an average of 3 days. Patients who should be scanned within 10 days waited on average 38 days. Those with a target time of 28 days, waited an average of 98 days.

“Getting a second MRI was something that was echoed loud and clear by patients and medical staff during consultations for our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan and it is one of the key outcomes in our plan,” says HSN President and CEO, Dominic Giroux. “Patients are going to benefit greatly, and we would like to thank the Ministry of Health for granting this approval to operate a second MRI.”

Giroux adds that thanks should be extended to the Health Sciences North Foundation. The foundation has raised $3.5 million towards the purchase of a new MRI and helping retrofit the existing machine, which has a total estimated price tag of $7 million.

“Fundraising for the remaining $3.5 million will be the collective focus of our three foundations so we can make this project a reality, on time,” says Anthony Keating, President and Chief Development Officer of HSN’s foundations and volunteer groups. “We’ve already had tremendous support from the community for this project and will need the continued support from our donors and the community to make this project a reality.”

HSN plans to have two fully functioning MRI’s in operation in the first half of 2021.