Work Underway for New MRI Installation at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

Plans are well underway to install a new MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney.

Clinical, engineering and support services teams with Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) are putting various parts of the plan into place which includes removal of the current MRI and installation of the new machine.

In an effort to limit the impact on patients and access to the service, a mobile MRI unit will arrive at the hospital in the coming days. The mobile MRI is a modern trailer style unit that will be set up in the small parking lot adjacent to the left-rear, or southwest side of the hospital. It is tentatively scheduled to begin service on Wednesday, Mar. 21.

This week, the current MRI will be taken out of service. During the time that the current MRI finishes and the mobile unit starts, there will be no MRI service at the Regional Hospital. While the service is down, emergency/urgent requests for MRI, will be forwarded to St. Martha’s Regional Hospital. Non-urgent cases may be scheduled locally using another type of exam like a CT. This is the same process that has been used whenever the current MRI needed repairs or maintenance.

Once the mobile MRI is in service, it will be used for both scheduled and emergency MRIs. People with scheduled, non-urgent MRI exams will be contacted directly and registered for their appointments by MRI staff. Staff will also give them directions on how to get to the mobile unit for their exam. The mobile unit will remain in place until the new MRI unit is installed and operating.

The new MRI unit will arrive onsite later this month. Some renovations and technical work will be required to remove the current unit and install the new one. While timelines may change, it is currently estimated that the work will take about 12 weeks. Project completion and the start-up of the new unit is expected in late spring, with a gradual return to full-capacity.

The new unit replaces the current MRI which has been in service since 2004. Funding for the new unit was announced by the Nova Scotia government last September.


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Greg Boone
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