Northern Health (NH) is considering introducing ultrasound technology to the Lakes District Hospital in Burns Lake, but there is no timeline for it at the moment.
“It is something that continues to be looked at – but there isn’t really an update at this time,” as Eryn Collins, NH spokesperson told Lakes District News on Sept. 30.
The health authority has been exploring options for bringing ultrasound in Burns Lake as recently as the summer, as it said in June.
The costs of ultrasound technology, demand and recruitment of sonographers present challenges for the Lakes District Hospital.
“Current demand for ultrasound in the Burns Lake area (including Granisle, South Bank and Francois Lake) is not enough to support a full-time technologist,” said Collins said.
“Northern Health is looking forward to an increase in sonography graduates in British Columbia from the new program at College of New Caledonia, and expansion of the existing program at BCIT, to help alleviate recruitment challenges.”
An ultrasound machine costs about $250,000.
At the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in Vancouver on Sept. 23-27, delegates endorsed a call from the Village of Burns Lake to lobby the provincial government to provide more medical specialists and services in rural areas.
It was not yet clear the effect that might have on bringing ultrasound to Burns Lake, since after UBCM resolutions are passed onto the provincial government it can take as long as five years for them to become new legislation.