Nunavut plans to get CT scanner this year
Machine to diagnose head injuries was top recommendation from 2011 inquest
Nunavut could finally get a CT scanner later this year, two years after it was recommended by a coroner’s jury, and a year later than promised.
The number one recommendation from a 2011 coroner's inquest into the death of Elisapee Michael was to purchase and install a CT scanner at the Iqaluit hospital.
In August 2009, Michael, 52, fell head-first down the front steps of the Nova Inn in Iqaluit.
Her head injury went unnoticed by emergency room staff at Qikiqtani General Hospital. Doctors sent her to RCMP cells because she was disruptive and unco-operative after a night of drinking.
She spent 14 hours in police custody until officers noticed that she was showing signs of brain damage. She was rushed back to hospital, then flown to Ottawa, where she later died from her injury in hospital.
The Nunavut government promised a CT scanner would be up and running by March 2012. Now Health Minister Keith Peterson says a machine should be in place at the hospital later this year.
"I believe the plan is to purchase the CT scanner and ship it up by ship later this year to place it in the Qikiqtani General Hospital."
Peterson said all the proposals for the CT scanner came in under the $1.8 million budget.
He said it's sophisticated equipment and everyone using it will receive training.
Peterson also said electronic health records have reduced the wait time for diagnostic imaging by up to three weeks in Iqaluit.