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No progress made on CT scanner negotiations

Could be another year before medical equipment is in place

The Whistler Health Care Foundation is still waiting to meet with the regional health authority to further discuss the costs of installing a refurbished Computerized Tomography scanner in Whistler.

Marnie Simon, chair of the foundation, said she has not gotten a date from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority for the proposed meeting, adding that she suspects it is taking VHCA longer to recalculate the CT scanner costs than originally anticipated.

“I hope no news is good news in this situation, because the news lately has not been good,” said Simon.

She added that this temporary delay should not have a huge impact on the project, since construction has already been pushed back to spring.

The proposed meeting will further evaluate the cost to install the scanner in the Whistler Health Care Centre, since the regional health authority’s estimate released last month was $900,000 over the initial project estimate.

VCHA estimated that it would cost $2.37 million for the project, compared to $1.5 million estimated by the Whistler foundation.

The new calculation would set the five-year project further back, since the foundation has already put significant time and effort into raising over $1 million for the project in the community.

“Over the five years, it has been a long struggle. And that is why I am so frustrated. I thought the end was in sight, and now it is delayed I would say for at least a year,” said Simon.

She added that her foundation has not funded any medical projects other than the CT scanner in the past two fiscal years.

“Until we can get the CAT scan in place, we can’t give any money out for anything else. We don’t have the money to give out,” she said.

The Whistler Health Care Foundation hopes to raise some more funds at their first Black Tie Gala fundraiser, which will be at the end of November.

“The originally plan for that fundraiser was to be the first of an annual fundraiser for the Whistler Health Care Foundation, so we weren’t constantly going out to the community for money for different things,” said Simon.

“We want the community to know that each year we would have a fundraiser that would raise a certain amount of money, and that would be the money that we would use,” she said.

Simon added that the 230 tickets for the event, at $175 each, sold out three weeks ago.

The CT Scanner project involves building a 900 square foot addition to the Whistler Health Care Centre to house the refurbished scanner. The scanner will be used to better diagnose brain, organ and tissue injuries before patients are referred to hospitals in Vancouver.