The South Bruce Grey Health Centre remains committed to its CT scanner service in Walkerton, despite the pending arrivals of two CT scanners in the region.
Paul Rosebush admits the hospital has been battling a number of misconceptions in the public, including a claim that they opposed the Hanover and District Hospital's successful application to the South West LHIN for its own CT scanner.
He says they never took a stand in Hanover's application, pointing out they simply asked the LHIN to conduct a needs assessment across the region for diagnostic imaging.
Rosebush says with health care dollars scarce, rural hospitals have to collaborate to make sure they are as efficient as possible.
"When you live in an area with a sparse population, there's only so many donor dollars out there," says Rosebush. "You want to make sure you have an efficient and coordinated health system."
Rosebush admits the SBGHC is poised to take a financial hit of more than $500,000 as a result of the imminent start-up of a CT scanner in Listowel, as well as Hanover, if final approval is granted by the Ministry of Health.
"Revenue that we're likely to lose from Hanover approaches, $300,000, I think we actually estimated it's around $280,000," says Rosebush. "It was over $300,000 [revenue loss] from Listowel, so that's the combination of both hospitals."
Rosebush also denies claims that Hanover needs a CT scanner because their Walkerton unit is booked to capacity, pointing out LHIN staff recommended rejection of the Hanover application partly on the basis that Walkerton's CT program has room for more patients without increasing wait times.
Walkerton's CT scanner completed 4,800 exams last year, while Rosebush points out the average CT scanner in Canada performs more than 9,000 exams each year.
Walkerton's CT scanner is reaching the end of its life expectancy this year and Rosebush says they will not abandon the program, even with the suddenly crowded diagnostic landscape, adding he believes their program will remain sustainable.
He says the Walkerton and District Hospital Foundation has committed to raising $1.2-million towards the cost of a replacement CT unit, with their other three foundations in Kincardine, Chesley and Durham also contributing $150,000 each, which will cover the entire replacement cost.
Rosebush adds they expect to have their new CT scanner in Walkerton up-and-running by the end of the year.