March 17, 2014
WHITEHORSE—The Government of Yukon will provide $2.8 million to Yukon Hospital Corporation in 2014/15, pending legislative approval, to build a temporary home for Whitehorse General Hospital’s new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The announcement was made today by Minister of Health and Social Services Doug Graham.
The construction of a permanent MRI suite is linked to the expansion of the Whitehorse General Hospital emergency department. The Minister said he was concerned that MRI service would not be available for four to five years if it waited for a permanent home.
“By funding the construction of a temporary MRI suite, which can later be converted for another use by the hospital, we are ensuring that Yukoners have local access to this important diagnostic test much sooner,” Graham said.
The Yukon Hospital Foundation raised $2 million to purchase the MRI scanner, and in December 2012 Yukon government announced it would match those funds. This further $2.8 million covers the costs to build the specialized MRI suite. The Yukon government has also approved $265,000 to cover operation and maintenance costs for the MRI service for its first months of operation in 2014/15.
The new building will be located next to the Whitehorse General Hospital building, with construction to start this season. If all goes according to plan, the Minister said the facility could be completed and ready for operation by November 2014. The MRI scanner will be relocated to a permanent space inside the hospital when the emergency department expansion is completed.