HHHS makes its case for CT machine

By James Matthews
Haliburton Highlands Health Services will lobby the Ministry of Health as the next step toward getting a CT scan machine for the region.
A recent study by the health service to gauge the feasibility of bringing such a piece of equipment to the region netted positive results, said Carolyn Plummer, the CEO and president at HHHS in her March report to board members.
“We were overwhelmed with the volume of support letters we received, with over 100 letters received in just over a week and a half, even without a formal public call for support,” she said.
“This clearly speaks to the importance of having a CT scan machine in Haliburton County.”
The equipment will greatly improve access to critical diagnostic information and provide a local option for screening and preventative diagnostic testing.
“While HHHS is well-aware of the potential positive benefits from a health care perspective, community members have been able to share how important it is to them, and the potential it has to transform our local health care services and experiences,” she said.
As the application process begins, Plummer said HHHS will continue to share information with the community about the benefits of a local CT scan machine.
Thanks to our integration with the Diagnostic Imaging Department at Ross Memorial Hospital, scans can be read by an off-site radiologist. Those results can be communicated back to physicians in the county.
“This is similar to how our X-ray, ultrasound, and bone density scans happen now,” she said. “It is common practice at many small hospitals across the province and is common practice at many larger hospitals after-hours.”
Offering scans closer to home will reduce the number of out-of-county transfers completed by our local EMS, who transported 357 people for CT scans in 2021. That tally is a 55 per cent increase over 2020.
Plummer said it will also support our on-going recruitment and retention efforts, as we know new physicians are trained with the expectation that they will have easy access to CT scan equipment for diagnostic purposes.
Letters of support for the application can be sent to Michel Henry at mhenry@hhhs.ca.