Cheticamp X-ray wasn’t emergency replacement
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.