Mobile CT scanner operational at Port Hardy Hospital

Residents of North Vancouver Island now have access to diagnostic medical imaging closer to home with the installation of a mobile computed tomography (CT) scanner at Port Hardy Hospital.

R-L Jeff Beresford, Danielle Nye, Olann Thornett .jpg

"Our government is investing in diagnostic medical imaging services throughout B.C. to ensure people have access to the best care and diagnoses possible, closer to home,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This new addition will help ensure people in Port Hardy and surrounding areas will have access to the services and treatment they need, when they need it.” 

“As the first mobile CT scanner available in Island Health and one of two mobile CT scanners in B.C., the addition of this new scanner means less travel time for North Vancouver Island residents in need of CT scan diagnostic testing,” said Leah Hollins, Island Health Board Chair. “Computed tomography has become one of the most important diagnostic technologies developed in the last 30 years and we are very excited to offer this cutting edge mobile technology in Island Health.”  

The mobile CT scanner, a Siemens SOMATOM go Top, is now operational following testing, accreditation and staff training. The first patient scans at Port Hardy Hospital are expected to be done on December 6. The mobile CT unit will also be used at Victoria General Hospital based on a rotating schedule.

Computed tomography is a medical imaging test that uses special x-ray equipment along with computers to provide detailed, cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. CT scans can study all parts of the body, take pictures of internal organs, and examine blood vessels, bones, and the spinal cord.

The mobile CT scanner and pad represent a capital investment of $3.8 million at Port Hardy Hospital.

What people are saying about the new mobile CT scanner at Port Hardy Hospital:

Pat Corbett, mayor, Port Hardy – 

“Knowing that government heard our requests for funding and listened to the recommendations that came from a health summit, facilitated by the Rural Coordination Centre of British Columbia in November 2022, about strengthening services in the North Vancouver Island area is so meaningful. Having access to a CT scanner was a key concern for our local physicians to provide quicker diagnoses, reduce patient travel and stress, and hopefully help to recruit and retain more doctors by having an essential piece of equipment available at our hospital.” 

Michele Babchuk, MLA, North Island – 

“Having health-care services such as a mobile CT scanner closer to home is crucial to communities in the North Island so people can access the health-care they need, when they need it. These services play an important role in the patient journey, helping people get back to activities they enjoy as quickly as possible.” 

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health – 

“Having access to mobile CT scanners means patients can get diagnosed closer to home,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health. “Our government is committed to taking action to ensure better access to care for people throughout B.C. and providing the tools and supports necessary for patients to get the prompt diagnosis and treatment they need.” 

Dr. Nicole Bennett-Boutilier, Island Health Medical Director, Mt. Waddington/Strathcona – 

“A CT scan is a gold standard, high-yield diagnostic tool. Having a CT scanner available in the region will support our local transport teams by keeping patients closer to home, while contributing to a prompt and accurate diagnosis. It will be a valuable regional asset given the interconnectedness of our North Vancouver Island communities, resulting in earlier interventions and more accurate trajectories of care.”