Surrey Memorial Hospital has installed a portable MRI machine to temporarily replace the one damaged during the Nov. 19 flood in its emergency department.
The mobile unit arrived from California on Dec. 12 and the hospital expects to have it up and running within the first couple of weeks of January.
"The services of the mobile MRI are exactly the same, so it'll be in effect and will replace the permanent one until we have that one back," said Fraser Health Authority spokesperson Roy Thorpe-Dorwood.
Until the temporary unit is up and running, MRI outpatients will be referred to Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, which has extended its hours of operation. Admitted hospital inpatients will be referred to other hospitals in the region that have MRI machines.
Thorpe-Dorwood said the hospital expects to have the temporary unit in place for three to five months, with a rental cost of about $100,000. Fraser Health will submit the expense as an insurance claim along with other expenses related to the flood. If the rental is not covered, Thorpe-Dorwood said Fraser Health would have to bear the cost.
The status of the damaged MRI machine is still in question. GE Canada has assessed the equipment and Thorpe-Dorward said Fraser Health is now waiting on GE's report to determine next steps.
"Until we receive that report, we won't have a good sense of what's going on there," he said. "It's pretty much the same as it was. It's a wait and see."