New MRI machines coming to Kelowna General Hospital

April 20, 2023

People in Kelowna and area will have increased access to medical imaging with the installation of a new 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) and the replacement of an existing 1.5T MRI machine.

“Our government has taken a number of steps to improve B.C.’s health-care system, including significantly improving access to MRI services across the province,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The addition of the new MRI and replacement of the existing MRI at Kelowna General Hospital means shorter wait times and better treatment plans for people in Kelowna and surrounding communities.”

The machines bring new capacity to the region, increasing the number of MRI scans done at KGH from approximately 7,000 to 15,000 per year. It will also reduce the length of the scan, meaning shorter turnaround between patients, as well as higher-quality images. The state-of-the-art units have the ability to diagnose complex conditions, such as neurological disease, certain heart diseases and prostate cancer.

“By adding these new MRI machines, we’ll be able to reduce the time people are waiting to access these important diagnostic services,” said Susan Brown, Interior Health’s president and CEO.

The project cost is $30.7 million. The KGH Foundation is contributing $5 million, the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District is contributing $10.3 million and the Province of British Columbia, through Interior Health, is contributing $15.4 million.

“We are grateful that the ministry has approved enhanced MRI capacity at Kelowna General Hospital,” said Allison Young, CEO, KGH Foundation. “It is important to provide advanced diagnostics closer to home for those in need in our communities. Fundraising for MRI is part of a larger fundraising commitment that the foundation announced earlier this month.”

After a competitive bidding process, Interior Health has awarded the construction management services contract to Bird Construction Group. Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2023 and be complete in 2025. There will be no planned disruption in services during construction.

“Investing in cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art equipment will help support the health-care sector and ensure residents get the care they need,” said Loyal Wooldridge, board chair, Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District. “I am proud to see this multimillion-dollar hospital district investment moving forward. It means people will wait less and receive better quality diagnostics, right here in the Central Okanagan.”

A backgrounder follows.

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