Williams Lake and area residents have a brand new reason to support the Cariboo Foundation Trust in its efforts to purchase equipment for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.
Last week the foundation started a new campaign to purchase a new CT scanner for the hospital.
The new CT scanner will cost about $1 million of which the foundation is committed to raising $250,000 locally, says foundation co-chair Rick Nelson.
And it all has to be raised in about a year, which is one of the foundation’s most pressing projects to date.
“We will try to raise $250,000 in a year when the hospital would like to have the new CT scanner,” Nelson says.
He says community fundraising helped to purchase the hospital’s original CT scanner which is now 11 years old and in need of replacement.
He says the existing machine is an eight slice scanner, which means that the camera that it is equipped with will take eight pictures in one rotation around the body.
The new scanner will be able to take 128 pictures in the same rotation and will have much improved three dimensional imaging with more detail, Nelson says.
He says the new unit will also have the capability to scan for colorectal cancers fast and painlessly.
Currently he says the hospital uses a colonoscope for this type of diagnosis.
“The new scanner will also have the capability to be upgraded as new technology becomes available,” Nelson says.
Doctors will also have the capability of sending images digitally to other communities for consultation with specialists, thereby saving the expense and time of travel to see specialists in other communities.
“The more services we can provide at our own hospital the better so that people don’t have to travel for medical care,” Nelson says.
He notes that in supporting the foundation, the community recently finished raising $90,000 for the purchase of a new digital ultrasound machine for the hospital emergency department which is now on order.