CT break down causes anxiety

This poster was put at VJH after the CT scanner broke down Tuesday. The machine was back up and running Wednesday.  - Photo Submitted
This poster was put at VJH after the CT scanner broke down Tuesday. The machine was back up and running Wednesday.
— image credit: Photo Submitted

Some physicians are demanding action after a key piece of equipment at Vernon Jubilee Hospital  was out of service.

The computed tomography (CT) scanner broke  down Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and was repaired by 3 p.m. Wednesday.

“We were sending life and limb cases to Kelowna  and for those less urgent cases, we rescheduled until after the CT scan was back up and running,” said Nancy Serwo, hospital administrator.

While the scanner, which takes X-rays of the inside of the body, was only down a short time, it was originally anticipated it may be unavailable until today as parts had to be ordered.

The current CT scan is five years old and the prospect of not having access to the service for an extended period is a concern for physicians.

“From an emergency department standpoint, not having access to a scanner for 24, 48 or 72 hours doesn’t work,” said a member of medical staff who asked not to be identified.

“If a patient comes in from a car accident or is having a medical emergency and they need a CT scan now, they need it now. Sending them to Salmon Arm or Kelowna for their CT is not what we should be doing.  We need that back-up system.”

However, Interior Health doesn’t believe there is a need for a second CT scan at this time.

“We look at the waitlist and utilization and it ebbs and flows,” said Serwo.

“The wait is about eight weeks for urgent cases and 20 weeks for non-urgent.”

Serwo added that IHA must also consider the broad equipment needs for the entire hospital and the funds available.

When the scanner was purchased in 2008, the $2 million price tag was paid for by the Ministry of Health  and the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District, while IH must provide operating funds.


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