Sudbury should've had PET scanner 'a long time ago,' charity leader says
'We have a world-class facility ... Let's get some world-class equipment'
A decision by city councillors to contribute $1 million towards a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner for Sudbury has residents excited about acquiring a potentially life-saving piece of equipment.
A PET scanner is a nuclear medicine imaging test that would test for diseases such as cancer by evaluating how cells and organs are functioning.
On Wednesday, city council committed $1 million in the amount of $100,000 per year, for 10 years, to help bring the machine to Health Sciences North.
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According to the city, funds will be put into a reserve until fundraising efforts come through to pay the rest of the bill. Even with the province offering to pay for operating costs, the scanner will cost up to $5 million with about half of that money already raised through fundraising efforts.
"We should have had it a long time ago," said Wayne Tonelli, co-founder and president of the Miners for Cancer charity. "We have a world-class facility here in Sudbury with our cancer centre. Let's get some world-class equipment here."
Tonelli said he applauds the city's help and wants to see the provincial and federal governments chip in financially to help Sudbury get the machine. It's unclear if other levels of government will help with the cost but regardless, the community is rallying together to close in on its goal.
"As soon as the fundraising is complete, we can move as quickly as possible on getting the equipment in the door and up and operating," said Mark Hartman, vice president of regional cancer and clinical support services at Health Sciences North.
Fundraiser Brenda Tassaro said she hopes the machine can be acquired as early as this summer, adding efforts are "pulling everyone together and that is what our cause has done here."
But city communications spokeswoman Marie Edsall said there is not a plan in place yet if more money is needed from council to make the purchase.
"If the amount needed is larger than what has been collected in the reserve funds for this project at the time the funds are needed, then council will have to decide at that time on how to proceed with the remainder of the funds," she added.
With files from the CBC's Olivia Stefanovich