Solution will save 400 trips

  • Jul. 5, 2010 6:00 p.m.

With a new ultrasound solution in place, Northern Health hopes to save islanders from 400 medical trips this year. Health Service administrator for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii Sheila Gordon-Payne says that islands’ ultrasound services are now being handled by staff in Prince Rupert. That means the senior x-ray technician comes to the islands once a month for two days to take appointments. The ultrasound machine, stationed in Masset, was purchased with community donated funds, she says. The machine is great, but Northern Health is also looking into upgrades for it that will allow even more patients to be served locally. There was a period of downtime with the machine due to staff turnover, she said. The staff person who looked after the x-ray and ultrasound in Masset left and then there was a challenge finding another x-ray person who also had ultrasound training. Ms Gordon-Payne said Northern Health had to decide whether to not hire and keep looking or to come up with another solution. With the Prince Rupert staff member coming over, islanders are not dependent on that x-ray position any longer, she says.