Two years late, CT scanner up and running in Nunavut

Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit has finally installed the CT scanner called for in the 2011 coroner's report into the death of Elisapee Michael.
The new CT scanner is now up and running at Iqaluit's Qikiqtani General Hospital.

Doctors at Iqaluit’s Qikiqtani General Hospital began using their new CT scanner on patients last week.

The scanner helps doctors diagnose internal injuries.

"It will reduce costs of travel to Ottawa," says Nunavut Health Minister, Monica Ell. "There will still be people required to travel, but they'll know the problem before they go down there."

The scanner was supposed to be installed two years ago, but installation hit a setback last year when a contractor defaulted during renovation work at the hospital.

In 2011 a coroner's report into the death of Elisapee Michael said a CT scanner could have helped save her life.

Michael died in hospital in Ottawa after suffering from head injuries she sustained in Iqaluit in 2009.

Her sister Eva is one of many who has been calling for Nunavut to get a scanner.

“Knowing that it's here now gives me comfort that it would give them, the doctors, more time to be able to possibly save other people's lives,” Eva says.

Qikiqtani General Hospital is the only hospital in Nunavut. It serves patients from across the Baffin region of the territory.

Without a CT scanner, patients would have to be flown to Ottawa for scans.  

The Government of Nunavut spent a little over $2 million on the project.

In addition to the scanner, the hospital has implemented a new Patient Archive Communication Server system.

That makes it possible to quickly transmit CT scans and X-ray images to radiologists in Ottawa.