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The Saint John Regional Hospital. Image: Brad Perry

Improved MRI access thanks to $1M donation

By Brad Perry Apr 26, 2024 | 3:38 PM

An anonymous donor is helping to improve MRI access throughout New Brunswick.

The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation says it recently received a $1 million gift.

Horizon Health said said the money will be used to hire more staff and streamline medical imaging requests.

Four full-time technologists will be hired so every MRI system in the Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, and Miramichi regions can operate seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

MRI training will be provided to eight additional employees in return for three-year employment service agreements.

In addition, the province will buy a requisition management solution system to centralize and sort all medical imaging requests, helping to guide patients to the location with the lowest wait time.

“We are overjoyed to receive this transformational gift from an incredibly generous anonymous donor,” Shannon Hunter, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a news release.

“This individual came to us with a vision of advancing patient care and innovation in medical imaging, following a personal experience that inspired interest in this area of health care.

“By working closely with the team at Horizon, we are pleased to share a plan that aligns with Horizon’s key focus on recruitment and retention.”

Officials said Horizon will be able to conduct an additional 4,000 MRI exams annually thanks to the investment.

More than 8,200 Horizon patients were an average of 238 days to access MRI services as of January. Horizon anticipates average wait times will be reduced by approximately 75 per cent by 2026.