Yarmouth Regional Hospital. Carla Allen photo
There are few things more valuable than good health but sometimes the tools that some of us need to reach that goal come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Municipal units in the region are being asked to help fund the $3,016,000 purchase of a new CT scanner and medication management system for the Yarmouth Regional Hospital.
Although government funding helps with 75 per cent of that total, the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation has pledged to raise $754,000 through the Enhancing Healthcare campaign.
To do this, the foundation is turning to its funding partners. The Women’s Auxiliary has stepped forward with $150,000. Local businesses, individuals and fundraising initiatives like the Spring Gala and the Jody Shelley Golf Fore Health tournament help towards the goal.
Argyle, Clare, Clark’s Harbour, the Municipality of Yarmouth and the Town of Yarmouth are being asked to contribute a total of $189,047.
The Municipality of Barrington is contributing $20,953.
On Wednesday, April 23, representatives from the foundation approached the Municipality of Yarmouth asking for a contribution of $48,747.
Yarmouth Hospital Foundation managing director Paulette Sweeney-Goodwin and board chair Shirley d’Entremont described the benefits of the new equipment, which is already in use.
The new CT scanner replaces the older one that was repeatedly breaking down, posing a risk to patients with an absence of service.
“The new scanner has more advanced software, allowing for more competent diagnosis and a 40 to 80 per cent reduction in radiation depending on the test conducted,” said Sweeney-Goodwin. Modern equipment is also important, she pointed out, in attracting and retaining physicians and technologists to the region.
The new medication management system is also said to be a valuable acquisition. The Yarmouth Regional Hospital was among the 10 per cent of hospitals in Canada that did not have a medication management system in place.
The system increases patient safety by reducing the chance of error and also increases the amount of time that nurses and pharmacy staff can spend with patients.
It provides individual packages in unit dosages that are bar coded. Users must swipe their finger for identification to gain access.
“These are very important, patient-driven reasons to have the system,” said Sweeney-Goodwin.
Prior to having the system in place, it took approximately two-and-a-half hours to have a prescription brought from the pharmacy to the bedside. With the new system it’s about 30 minutes.
Yarmouth municipal council has forwarded the funding request to its budget meeting, which will be held later this spring.