Dr. Andy Edelson and Judith Ray stand in front of Mission Memorial Hospital in May of 2021, holding an example of a CT scan where significant damage has occurred. Edelson said in cases like these, getting an immediate diagnosis could save lives. Now Mission is getting its own CT scanner. Patrick Penner File Photo

Dr. Andy Edelson and Judith Ray stand in front of Mission Memorial Hospital in May of 2021, holding an example of a CT scan where significant damage has occurred. Edelson said in cases like these, getting an immediate diagnosis could save lives. Now Mission is getting its own CT scanner. Patrick Penner File Photo

New CT scanner approved for Mission Regional Hospital

Total cost for scanner and renovations estimated to be more than $8.4 million

Mission Memorial Hospital is getting a new CT scanner.

A provincial government press release issued on Wednesday (Dec. 22) stated “People in Mission are one step closer to shorter wait times and closer-to-home access to computed tomography (CT) scans with a new CT scanner coming soon to Mission Memorial Hospital.”

“Currently, residents of Mission and surrounding areas must access outpatient CT scans at regional hospitals across the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, while those seeking inpatient care are transferred to Abbotsford Regional Hospital,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

“The approval of the business plan for a new CT scanner and the renovation of the medical imaging department at MMH will mean that patients will have better access to highly effective diagnostic imaging that will help improve the services people count on, closer to home in the community they live in.”

During the years 2019 and 2020, 7,422 CT scans were performed at Fraser Health hospitals for residents in Mission and the surrounding area. The addition of a CT scanner at MMH will reduce wait times at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) in the medium term.

“We are very excited that Mission residents will no longer have to travel to other regions and endure long wait times to access a CT scan. It is critical for emergency care, inpatient hospital care and outpatient care,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “Thanks to the provincial government, Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation and our donors for making this a reality.”

The project will involve renovation and reconfiguring MMH’s existing medical imaging department, the health records department and the physicians’ lounge to make space for the new CT scanner.

Construction is expected to be completed in August 2023, with the scanner being operational and accessible to Mission residents in December 2023. Once fully operational, the new CT scanner at MMH is expected to provide over 7,350 scans in the first year.

The total estimated project cost is more $8.4 million, with nearly $7.3 million in provincial funding provided by the Ministry of Health and a $1.1-million contribution from the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation.

A CT scanner is an essential diagnostic tool that allows doctors to see inside the body by using a combination of X-rays and a computer to create pictures of organs, bones and other tissues.

“This is excellent news for everyone in Mission and surrounding areas,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “A CT scanner can detect complex problems in our bodies that would otherwise have been invisible to the human eye.”

Mission Mayor Paul Horn called it “big news” for the community.

“Our community is growing, and it is rewarding to see that Fraser Health and the Province recognize the need for our health-care services to evolve. This could not have happened without a grassroots initiative led by Mission All Together for Health Care (MATH) and the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation,” said Horn.

Dr. Andrew Edelson, co-chair of MATH said “a CT scanner will help medical teams at Mission Memorial Hospital provide the best diagnosis, treatment and care to residents of our community. Up-to-date medical equipment is needed for our growing community, and that’s why MATH is committed to raising $1 million to support this vital technology.