A new state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) scanner will be installed at Squamish General Hospital, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced today. The new scanner will perform 7,000 CT scans annually, or about 20 daily. It is expected to be operational by early 2025.
“The new CT scanner will reduce wait times for people in the region and increase access to timely diagnostics, which is critical,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our government is committed to expanding these services for patients around the province, so people have access to life-saving technology and world-class, team-based health care,” he said.
The scanner will provide advanced medical diagnostics for people in Squamish and the surrounding areas, including Whistler, Pemberton and the North Shore. This will also allow more patients to stay in their community to receive medical imaging, saving them time and expenses on travel.
“This CT scanner is great news for people living in and around Squamish and will make access to much-needed health-care services easier,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health. “This is another demonstration of our government’s dedication to improving access to care in rural and remote areas across B.C.”
To date, patients have had to travel to access CT services, with the closest sites being the Whistler Health Care Centre and Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. Last year, 5,500 Howe Sound residents were redirected to another healthcare facility for a CT scan.
“Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is pleased to expand medical imaging for local community members. This CT scanner will improve patient care at Squamish General Hospital,” said Heidi Butler, director for Sea to Sky Acute and Squamish General Hospital, Vancouver Coastal Health. “It will enhance the patient experience for the people of Squamish and the surrounding community with access to this new state-of-the-art device.”
A CT is a diagnostic equipment that combines X-ray with advanced computer-processing technology to create accurate, detailed images of internal structures and organs. A CT scan is an advanced medical imaging procedure that uses a revolving X-ray-producing tube, special electronic sensors and powerful computers to make slice-like, cross-sectional images.
CT imaging allows radiologists to diagnose cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders.
The project will cost an estimated $6.5 million and is being funded by the Province through Vancouver Coastal Health and Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District. The project includes purchasing a CT scanner and a minor expansion to SGH, including a pre-fabricated modular unit to house the scanner, a secondary imaging waiting room, and clinical space for imaging staff.
Jenna Stoner, chair of Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District, said the district is grateful for these projects that help improve access to health care for our communities. “The new CT scanner is a testament to enhanced healthcare accessibility in our region. It brings accurate diagnosis, timely treatment and improved patient outcomes, transforming the lives of individuals within the community. The SSRHD is proud to be part of purchasing a potentially life-saving technology,” Stoner said.
Karen Vanzella, president of Squamish Hospital Foundation, said the hospital board is extremely pleased to hear this announcement. “Having a CT scanner at SGH has been on our list for about 20 years, with fundraising started by Dr. Laverne Kindree. We look forward to seeing the completion of this project and its benefit to health care for our community. Thank you to the Ministry of Health.”