Echocardiogram services will be available this fall at James Paton Memorial in Gander.
GANDER, NL — Cardiac services at James Paton Memorial Hospital just received a major improvement.
At a press conference in Gander on Monday morning, Health Minister John Haggie announced the restoration of echocardiogram services, beginning this fall.
“It’s been a problem to varying degrees since I was a clinician here,” Haggie said. “The ability to have the equipment, the staff and the expertise to run it fills in that gap. It’s important for a whole range of patients.”
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test using high-pitched sound waves sent through a device called a transducer. The signals are picked up as echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of the heart. The echoes are turned into moving pictures of the heart that can be seen on a video screen.
The province will make a onetime investment of $200,000 to purchase the equipment, and contribute $141,000 annually for operation costs.
The Central Northeast Health Foundation will also make a one-time donation of $125,000 to the project.
“The foundation has been on the go for a number of years, and we are fully committed to fundraising for this project and other projects in the area,” Ruth Cheeks, chair of the Central Northeast Health Foundation, said. “My motto is, I hope I never have to use it, but I’m glad it will be there if I do.”
While the service will not be available until later this year, Haggie says the additional services will double capacity for patients requiring echo services in central Newfoundland. It should also help manage the need for travel by patients who are very ill and help reduce wait times, according to the minister.
Health Minister John Haggie announced the restoration of echocardiogram services at James Paton Memorial Hospital Monday, April 17. The service is expected to begin this fall.
Left to right are: Valerie Pritchett, Coordinator James Paton Memorial, Health Minister John Haggie, Ruth Cheeks, Chair of the Northeast Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Barry Gallagher, acting Chief of Staff James Paton Memorial, and Rosemary Goodyear, President and CEO of Central Heath.