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Nova Scotia announces plans to purchase five MRIs

Nova Scotia’s Department of Health has posted a request-for-proposal for five top-of-the-line MRI scanners.

“Making these diagnostic services more accessible means that Nova Scotians gain more control over their health; they can be diagnosed earlier and start necessary treatments sooner,” said Health Minister Angus MacIsaac (pictured at left). “We are working with Nova Scotia’s specialists to ensure we purchase the best and most appropriate technology for these communities.”

A provincial steering committee, with representation from most of the province’s nine health districts, the IWK Health Centre, and the Department of Health, is working toward consistency in diagnostic services, technology, training and referral processes across the province.

Expanding the MRI capacity in Nova Scotia was one of the top priorities in Your Health Matters, the government’s plan for better healthcare, released in 2003.

Premier John Hamm announced the purchase of the new MRI units for Yarmouth, Kentville, Antigonish and New Glasgow in December 2004. The province also agreed to replace an aging unit in Halifax.

Up to $12.5 million will go toward the purchase and installation of all MRI units. The funding was made possible through the 2004 First Ministers’ Meeting Accord. Each district health authority receiving a unit will contribute about $750,000 to purchase the new equipment.

The Department of Health will purchase five 1.5 Tesla MRI scanners that offer superior neurology, head and neck, orthopedic abdominal and urological imaging. The units must be able to work within Nova Scotia’s picture archiving communications system.

The request for proposals will be posted on the government procurement website at

The deadline for submissions is Sept. 30. The Department of Health will announce the successful vendor by the end of October. It is expected the units will be installed in each health district once renovations, human resource plans, and community funding are in place, starting with Capital Health