Tele-radiology announced for northern Manitoba
WINNIPEG - Earlier this month, Rey Pagtakhan, federal
Minister of Western Economic Diversification, announced $99,999 in
government funding for the new Norway House and Churchill Teleradiology
The balance of the $237,280 project will come from Manitoba Telehealth,
the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the St. Boniface General
Hospital Research Centre.
The Norway House and Churchill Teleradiology project will be used to
demonstrate the technology to other communities in the hopes of
providing these types of services in northern Manitoba and across
WD funding for this project will be directed towards the purchasing of
equipment and software to be located at the Norway House Hospital, the
Churchill Health Care Centre, St. Boniface General Hospital and the
Health Sciences Centre.
In June 1998, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and the
Province of Manitoba each provided $1.25 million in funding towards the
St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre for a Picture Archiving
and Communication System (PACS), which is the central storage device and
the cornerstone of Manitoba's filmless radiology network.
The filmless radiology network will enhance health services in Norway
House and Churchill, while being assessed for future application in
other remote and northern communities.
"The remoteness of northern communities presents a unique challenge in
our ability to provide local health services," said Minister Pagtakhan.
"Through the introduction of this innovative technology, we are
enhancing health services in these communities, an important step in
enabling them to prosper and grow. The Government of Canada is pleased
to be building strong rural communities and investing in people -
Canada's most important economic asset."
As part of the Manitoba Telehealth Network, Norway House and Churchill
will become the first two communities to be connected via broadband
technology to Winnipeg. Equipment is set up at the Norway House Hospital
and the Churchill Health Care Centre and is operated by locally trained
staff. The corresponding equipment is located in Winnipeg.
Patients enter the hospital or healthcare centre in their community for
testing and the images sent to Winnipeg by existing high-speed digital
transmission lines. The digitized pictures are received by a secure
server and can be accessed through viewing stations set up at St.
Boniface General Hospital and Health Sciences Centre.
"Most patients would agree that waiting for test results can be the most
anxious part of accessing medical services," said Dr. Blake McClarty,
professor and department chair, Radiology, Winnipeg Regional Health
Authority. "Whether it is a routine ultrasound or an emergency
situation, filmless radiology will provide patients with the prompt
answers they need to make sound decisions regarding their health and
Under the present system, patient x-rays are shipped by air to the
Health Sciences Centre for interpretation. Adverse weather conditions,
urgent and emergent cases and difficult-to-diagnose conditions, can all
affect the system's efficiency.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is a department of the
Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces,
industry associations and communities to stimulate and encourage
diversification of the western economy, as well as to represent the
interests of the West in Ottawa.
For additional information, contact: www.wd.gc.ca