A crane was required to move the new MRI machine into place at Ridge Meadows Hospital this week. It's expected up and operational in about three months. (Fraser Health/Special to The News)

New Maple Ridge MRI has already served more than 1,000 patients

Imaging machine began work at Ridge Meadows Hospital in November

The NEW MRI at Ridge Meadows Hospital has been in operation since Nov. 9, and has already scanned more than 1,000 patients.

It is the first time there has been access to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams at the hospital.

From Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 17, 2021, 1,005 patients were scanned, as staff work long hours on the new machine.

“I’m proud that our government is delivering on its promise to significantly improve access to MRI services throughout British Columbia,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The new MRI machine at Ridge Meadows Hospital will be able to perform up to 7,500 MRI exams annually, operating 16 hours a day, seven days a week.”

It has been a long time coming. The MRI was announced by then MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission Marc Dalton of the governing BC Liberal party in February of 2017.

READ ALSO: New MRI machine coming to Ridge Meadows Hospital

Two years ago, in January of 2019, Fraser Health promised it would come on stream sometime that year.

READ ALSO: Promised MRI still not installed at Ridge Meadows Hospital

The $5 million machine finally arrived in June of 2020, and went into operation five months later.

The opening of the MRI suite brings the total number in the Fraser Health region to 12, following the new MRI suite at the Langley Memorial Hospital.

MRI machines are used to diagnose medical conditions such as abnormalities of the brain, as well as tumours, cysts and soft-tissue injuries in other parts of the body. MRIs can help facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, vastly improving a person’s quality of life.

Both new machines come with equipment to perform specialized exams such as breast imaging.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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