Thursday, October 25, 2007

Will Work For PACS
...When National Healthcare Just Isn't Enough

Bandaged from head to toe to show the importance of the new PACS technology at Seaforth Community Hospital, Don Morton, of Seaforth, adds to the total as donations came into the Seaforth Legion or were called in to CKNX radio during the annual Healthcare Heroes radiothon held on Saturday. Photo by Susan Hundertmark, courtesy

You won't hear about this in many places, but PACS is a pretty expensive proposition. So what is a small hospital with limited funds going to do when it decides to take the plunge?

If you work at the Seaforth Community Hospital in East Huron, Ontario, you hold a Radiothon!

The Seaforth Community Hospital foundation came very close to achieving its goal of $50,000 with $49,713 in donations during the annual CKNX Healthcare Heroes radiothon on Saturday.“It was a very successful day with just terrific community support,” said foundation chair Ron Lavoie on Monday. . .(S)ome of the larger donations included $5,000 from the Seaforth TD-Canada Trust, $2,500 from the Seaforth CIBC and $1,000 from the Seaforth Lions Club.

PACS technology allows diagnostic tests, including nuclear medicine, CT scans, x-rays and ultrasounds to be produced with digital images, which can then be transferred electronically.Adding in the amount raised at Saturday’s radiothon, the foundation has raised $175,713 of its goal of $213,283 for the first phase of the PACS fundraising.When the first phase is achieved, Lavoie said the next three years will be spent working towards the second phase - $350,000 towards a new x-ray machine for SCH.

Dr. Heather Percival, a physician on staff at Seaforth Community Hospital, who apparently is not a radiologist, noted:
"This technology is absolutely essential. It’s important to keep us at the same level as the city hospitals. Without this technology, we are back in the so-called dark ages,” she said. Percival pointed out that small towns have to work hard to fundraise for up-to-date technology, pointing out that some U.S. cities have more MRIs than the entire province of Ontario.

OK, everyone, take note. This is the end product of National Health Care. Radiothons to buy PACS systems. No doubt the Foundation will be holding a bake-sale to continue to fund their PACS. They will eventually have to pay for a viewing station, electricity, Cat 5 cables, and so on.

The US health-care consumer probably would never consider phoning in a donation to pay for his or her scanner. I really think some out there are anticipating Hillary-care with glee, thinking the government will give us the same level of service we get now, but for free. Sure. Right. Just ask the fine citizens of East Huron how much "free" care they're getting. You might want to ask them how much tax they pay, in addition to radiothon donations. I wonder if said donations are tax-deductable in Canada?


Anonymous said...

> I wonder if said donations are tax-deductable in Canada?

Sure they are.

The next time you find yourself in Waterloo, take a road trip to Seaforth - it's a nice little town.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps instead of making negative comments about the Canadian system because of fewer MRI units, you might comment on the over utilization of these services in the USA. As a physical therapist treating primarily orthopedic patients, I am amazed at how frequently MRI's are ordered, when a good exam would reveal the source of the problem. It's almost a treat by picture situation. While it may be true that Canada has too few units, we greatly overutilize MRI and so many other services that drive up the cost of healthcare. Possibly our system is not as great as we think, we are deluded into thinking we are receiving superior care due to the vast number of unnecessary tests, etc. that are ordered for conditions that don't really need it.

Dalai said...

Hey, obviously haven't read the rest of my blog!

Laura Ross said...

As a personal friend, and former patient of Dr Heather Percival, I need to comment! Our healthcare is NOT free, but ur taxes allow us wonderful healthcare, and an above-average level of access to all kinds of medical tests etc. What we need, we get. It's easy to stand in the U.S. and throw stones, but around here (Southern Ontario) we decide how many kids to have by deciding how many kids we WANT to have, rather than by how many our insurance (or lack thereof) will pay for! We take our kids to the DR when they NEED to go, not when we have enough money to pay a co-pay!
My son was special-needs...yes, born at Seaforth Hospital. He rec'd first-rate care, with swift and appropriate transport to Children's Hospital. On day 3, I heard a PCCU nurse say of my son "Well, there's a million dollar boy!", meaning his cost of care had already topped the million dollar mark. Had my husband and I NOT lived in Canada, our grandchildren would still be paying off the ocst of that hospital stay....let alone the other numerous hospital stays our son had through his life.
We don't have a problem donating for good causes...we're neighbours. That's what good neighbours, and good citizens do.