A portable MRI machine from California has arrived at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

A portable MRI machine from California has arrived at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Flooded MRI at Surrey Memorial to be replaced

Fraser Health decides against repairing hospital's scanner

An MRI scanner damaged when Surrey Memorial Hospital’s ER was flooded in November will be replaced and not repaired.

Fraser Health officials say they decided against fixing the old scanner at a cost of about $700,000 because it’s 11 years old and at the end of its useful life anyway.

The insurance payout for the repair costs will instead be put against the estimated $2 to $3-million cost of a new MRI scanner and shield, said Fraser Health executive director Rowena Rizzotti.

“We were scheduled for a replacement [MRI] in the new year,” she said. “To invest in a repair that would then be replaced would not be as cost-effective.”

In late November, Surrey Memorial’s ER department was closed for two weeks after a water line break flooded it under several inches of water. It reopened Dec. 3.

Exact insurance proceeds and whether it will come from the policies of Fraser Health or the responsible contractor is still to be resolved.

Damage and related costs from the flood is estimated at around $3 million.

Meanwhile a mobile MRI unit is now up and running at SMH and will provide the same services as a stationary unit for the next three or four months until the new one can be ordered and set up.

The portable unit was trucked from California at a rental cost of $100,000 per month.

It means patients no longer have to go to the neary Jim Pattison Outpatient Care Centre for MRI scans.

The new ER at Surrey Memorial now under construction is slated to open Oct. 1.