Beginning next week, echocardiography services will be offered at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre.
Nearly 3,000 patients from the Interlake region travel to Winnipeg to receive echocardiograms — an ultrasound for the heart — every year.
“Echocardiograms are important tests that assist in the diagnosis of various heart conditions,” said Dr. Brock Wright, CEO, Shared Health.
“Expanding the service to Selkirk will align with recommendations made in Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan to build up local capacity for specialized services and enable rural and northern patients the ability to receive the care they need without having to travel to Winnipeg.”
The site is an ideal location for the service expansion as nearly 24 percent of residents in the region live with hypertension, higher than the provincial average of 20.7 percent.
All scans performed in Selkirk will be non-urgent and elective, with the results interpreted by cardiologists at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg. Urgent or complex scans will continue to be referred to HSC or St. Boniface Hospital.
A full-time cardiac sonographer and clerk have been hired to support the new unit.
Approximately $200,000 was raised by the Rotary Club of Selkirk, along with 11 different area municipalities, to purchase the medical equipment required to perform echocardiograms.