Cheti­camp X-ray wasn’t emer­gency re­place­ment

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRETON POST STAFF

A new X- ray ma­chine for the Sa­cred Heart Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre that came un­der an MLA’s scru­tiny be­cause it was pur­chased by a lo­cal com­mu­nity group and not the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity was not con­sid­ered to be an emer­gency re­place­ment at the time.

“There are many on­go­ing equip­ment pri­or­i­ties; how­ever, given bud­get re­al­i­ties, we must fo­cus on the top pri­or­i­ties,” said Greg Boone, a health au­thor­ity spokesman. “While Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity does emer­gency re­place­ments for equip­ment, the X-ray ma­chine in Cheti­camp was not iden­ti­fied as an emer­gency re­place­ment.”

The cost and in­stal­la­tion of Cheti­camp X-ray ma­chine was about $275,000 and it was cov­ered by the Sa­cred Heart Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion.

In­ver­ness MLA Al­lan MacMaster has stated he is not happy that the hospi­tal re­placed this stan­dard piece of med­i­cal equip­ment through com­mu­nity fundrais­ing in­stead of the prov­ince pay­ing for it, to 75 per cent of the cost. In­stead, the com­mu­nity fundraised more than $200,000 to en­sure they got what they needed when they felt they needed it.

“Only for the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity, the hospi­tal would not have got­ten the new ma­chine,” said MacMaster. “This is ba­sic hospi­tal equip­ment and our pro­vin­cial tax dol­lars should help to pay for it.”

Not nec­es­sar­ily, said Boone. “The ma­chine was 17 years old and needed on­go­ing main­te­nance, but was op­er­a­tional,” said Boone. “How­ever, there are other older pieces of equip­ment, in­clud­ing X- ray ma­chines across Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity, that re­quire pri­or­ity re­place­ment with the money we have avail­able in our bud­get. De­ci­sions are made based on the great­est need first.

“In this case there was an op­por­tu­nity where 100 per cent com­mu­nity fund­ing was iden­ti­fied and we worked with the char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion to initi- ate the ren­o­va­tion of the space and pur­chase of the new X-ray ma­chine.”

Boone said the foun­da­tion’s com­mit­ment to cover the costs was the re­sult of on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with the pro­vin­cial health au­thor­ity. The health au­thor­ity did not have the fund­ing to share in this project but of­ten works with groups to­wards other so­lu­tions.

“The new X-ray ma­chine is the re­sult of the tire­less work of the foun­da­tion and the on­go­ing gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity,” said Boone. “The work we do would not be pos­si­ble with­out this sig­nif­i­cant sup­port.”

Sa­cred Heart Com­mu­nity Health Cen­tre is a 10-bed acute- care hospi­tal serv­ing north­ern In­ver­ness County.

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