Portable MRI coming up Vancouver Island

Mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) service is about to roll between Duncan, Port Alberni, the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

Mobile Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) service is about to roll between Duncan, Port Alberni, the Comox Valley and Campbell River, giving patients in these and surrounding communities improved access to MRI scans.

“This is a wonderful day for patients and their families,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “Our government is committed to improving patient access to MRI scans by investing in state-of-the-art technology such as mobile MRI.”

The mobile MRI service was officially launched Tuesday at its first stop, Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan.

“The mobile MRI is a great benefit for patients and VIHA is pleased to bring this service to these and neighbouring communities,” said  VIHA board chair Don Hubbard. “Most patients will be able to receive their scans in the mobile MRI unit therefore reducing the need for patients to travel to larger centres for diagnostic testing.”

The mobile unit, housed in a specially designed, 48-foot trailer, will spend one to two weeks in each community at the outset, and rotate to the next community over a weekend. Launch events will be held in Port Alberni, the Comox Valley and Campbell River when the mobile MRI makes its first visit.

“Our mobile MRI system is the first of its kind to be installed in a trailer in North America,” said Dr. John Mathieson, VIHA medical director of medical imaging. “The equipment is state-of-the-art and will support better patient care and outcomes.

“Radiologists will have the opportunity to add this technology to their practices and the mobile MRI will allow us to provide most of the MRI scans locally, with only a small number needing to travel to Victoria for more specialized studies.”

The mobile MRI is a significant investment in health care in these communities. Final purchase price for the MRI system including the trailer was approximately $1.9 million while infrastructure costs totaled approximately $1.1 million.

Regional Hospital Districts (RHDs) have been asked to contribute funds including: Comox Strathcona RHD $575,971, Cowichan Valley RHD $419,456 and Alberni Clayoquot RHD $205,183.

Specially designed parking pads constructed earlier this year at the four acute sites will support the mobile MRI trailer. The MRI system will be operated by VIHA with an annual operating cost of $1.4 million.

MRI is used to take images of organs and tissues inside the body. Through MRI, radiologists (physicians who specialize in reading images from technology such as MRI, CT, X-Ray or ultrasound) are able to view detailed internal structures of the body, which in turn supports the diagnosis of many types of injuries and medical conditions.

The use of MRI has increased exponentially in recent years as the technology has improved and become more and more effective in diagnosing injuries and diseases.

“The funds our regional hospital district invested in this equipment will have a direct benefit to those who live here,” said Claire Moglove, chair, Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District. “Our region is geographically very large, and having access to MRI technology close to home will improve health care delivery to so many who had to travel great distances before.”

— Vancouver Island Health Authority

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bench designed and created by Comox woodworker Brian Mayenburg. Photo submitted
Building for a cause to better the community

Comox woodworker raising funds for Comox Valley Food Bank

Greg Baute (inset), senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will be the guest speaker at the next Comox Valley Horticultural Society (CVHS) meeting. Photo supplied
Cannabis breeding discussed at next Comox Valley Horticultural Society meeting

Greg Baute, senior director of breeding and genetics at Aurora Cannabis, will… Continue reading

The next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series is Scott Amos, one half of the group Monkey C Interactive, which has drawn attention for transforming old technologies into interactive works of art, such as Registroid (supplied photo)
Next North Island College Artist Talk speaker breathes new life into old technology

Interactive installation artist Scott Amos will be the next speaker at North… Continue reading

The platanthera dilatata is the fragrant white bog orchid whose perfume on a hot August day is one of the unforgettable delights of a summer hike in Strathcona Park. Photo supplied
Strathcona Wilderness Institute AGM upcoming

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute (SWI) will hold its 2021 annual general meeting… Continue reading

Demonstrators gathered Friday, March 5 at the Courtenay Court House, demanding protection of old-growth forests. Scott Stanfield photo
Citizens march in Courtenay in name of old-growth rainforests

The Comox Valley is one of the B.C. communities engaged in mobilization… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Most Read