Listowel Hosptial Aims to have CT Scanner by Spring

by Andrew Smith, Listowel Banner, November 9, 2016

A new CT scanner is in sight for the Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance, according to CEO Karl Ellis.

Ellis said staff at Listowel Memorial Hospital have begun the review process for purchasing the new equipment, and that three companies have been short-listed based on the equipment based on the equipment they can provide.

"What we need here at a smaller hospital in Listowel will be different than what they need at the Health Sciences Centre in London," Ellis said. "We evaluate it based on what we think we need."

Ellis explained that the basic technology for a CT scanner is the same, but that different software packages allow radiologists to manipulate the 3D scan in different ways.

"Buying a CT is not unlike buying a car," Ellis said. "It's a matter of picking options, and a lot of those options are software driven."

The budget for the entire project is slated at $2 million, which includes the renovation of a designated space at the Listowel hospital, which Ellis said will require such items as lining the walls with lead and looking at proper heat management from the new equipment.

"In terms of anything that might slow the project down, the price to modify the room to hold the CT is the one thing we need to work out in the next three months," he said. "We got a bit of sticker shock when we were told how much it would cost to modify the room.":

Additionally, Ellis said the decision is approaching on whether the approved vendor will perform the renovation work, or whether local contractors will be hired. "If we choose to do it locally, it may slow us down by a couple months, but it's all local money that we're spending," Ellis said. "I'd hat e to spend an extra $1oo,ooo to outfit the room, if by doing it ourselves we could save that money and spend an extra six weeks."

Staff have also been reviewing the plans for the CT scanner and h9ow it will align with the LWHA new Senior Friendly Hospitals Initiative, which looks at environmental features such as design and mapping for ease of use with elderly patients. "We haven't perfected this process yet, but we're making sure we meet senior friendly standards where we can to make informed change," he said.

The good news on the project is that the community has responded well to the fundraising campaign by the Listowel Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the hope is to have everything in place by spring of next year. Ellis adds that the project wouldn't be possible without the staff and patients of the Wingham and District Hosptial, in or to support the new CT scanner.

"This is truly a Listowel-Wingham partnership, we wouldn't have this here in Listowel without the volume of CT patients from Wingham," he said.