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Northern Health approves CT scanner for Smithers

After plenty of community fundraising, the service is coming to Bulkley Valley District Hospital.
Smithers Charity Golf handed over a cheque of $90,000 to the Bulkley Valley Health Care and Hospital Foundation after this past summer’s celebrity golf tournament. (Josh Casey photo)

CT Scan services are coming to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital (BVDH) in Smithers.

“It is incredible news,” said Health Services Administrator Cormac Hikisch. “It has been a many-year journey and this is certainly the biggest health care news we’ve had in the Bulkley Valley in more than a decade. It is incredible and we are certainly excited to move into planning mode.”

The project has been approved in Northern Health’s 2018/2019 capital cycle and Hikisch said hopefully it will be implemented in late 2018. There are planning sessions starting this week to get the ball rolling.

CT Scans are special X-ray tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body using X-rays and a computer. There is an estimated 3,000 CT procedures a year that are done elsewhere from the catchment area which includes Burns Lake to Hazelton. Most patients are sent to Terrace and Prince George.

The project comes with a $2.9 million price tag which includes equipment and renovations required to install it at BVDH.

The Bulkley Valley Health Care and Hospital Foundation recently met their fundraising goal of $1.75 million to help bring the service to Smithers. This amount includes the donation from Telkwa’s Frtiz Pfeiffer of $1.6 million.

Other sponsors include the Smithers Celebrity Golf Tournament, Seabridge Gold, BV Kinsmen and other individuals and businesses.

The remainder of the funds will come through regional hospital district funding and Ministry of Health capital funding.

The Bulkley Valley Kinsmen Club’s upcoming truck demolition derby will also help to raise money for the project. Proceeds from the derby, comedy night and dance on May 5 will go towards it.

Hikisch added the CT Services are just one of the exciting things happening for diagnostic imaging at the hospital.

“We’ve just implemented the digital mammography unit and we just replaced our ultrasound unit which was about a $250,000 investment. The radiology room has also been approved for replacement in the near future, which is about $900,000 project,” he said.

Read the full story in the March 14 edition of The Interior News.

Telkwa’s Fritz Pfeiffer is giving $1.6 million to the Bulkley Valley Health Care & Hospital Foundation for a CT scanner in Smithers. (Chris Duncan photo)

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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