The Urgent Need for a CT Scanner in North Grenville
By Mayor Nancy Peckford
In today’s rapidly evolving and increasingly overstressed world of healthcare, access to advanced medical technology has become critical for early diagnosis and effective treatment.
Unfortunately, the residents of North Grenville are currently at a disadvantage due to the absence of a vital piece of equipment at the Kemptville District Hospital: a CT scanner, a tool that is crucial to effectively service the needs of our rapidly growing community.
Considered the “standard of care” in hospital emergency rooms, this technology would improve outcomes for patients across the board. It would also be a great benefit to our residents and seniors – saving patients from being transferred into Ottawa for a scan, resulting in less stress for patients and their families.
What we all know is that when faced with a medical emergency or a complex diagnostic puzzle, time is of the essence.
Currently, patients in North Grenville and surrounding areas who visit the ER at KDH – and who require an urgent CT Scan- must be transferred into Ottawa to get one, resulting in critical delays in diagnosis and treatment.
This geographical barrier can have severe consequences, tying up valuable paramedics who must accompany the patient into Ottawa.
For non-emergency CT scans, individuals are added to already lengthy wait lists and, consequently, experience delays in diagnostic assessments and treatment.
Inevitably, this can put an emotional and financial strain on many who are already grappling with medical challenges.
On average, if you are being transferred from the ER at KDH into Ottawa for a CT scan, it may take anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. Clearly, this not only further disrupts the patient’s life but often requires a minimum of one paramedic and sometimes a nurse to support this transfer into Ottawa, further stretching our limited medical Human Resources.
The story of the North Grenville resident illustrates one patient’s experience:
“So, it was off to Ottawa in an ambulance. The next delay was at the receiving corridor outside the ER at the Civic. Two extremely pleasant women paramedics who had brought me from Kemptville looked after me well and chatted as we waited for the hospital staff to admit me. Another two hours. Then it was up to the floor in the diagnostic department where I was wheeled into a cubicle for a wait of six hours until I could have the scan. By this time it was close to midnight and they had not even looked at the scan. I dozed for awhile and close to 6:30 am, they informed me that they could detect no further damage to my skull or brain. Now I began to be concerned about how I would get home. They told me, quite firmly but politely, that I was on my own. They could make no arrangements for transport. So I called my poor husband, at home, asleep, and asked him to come and fetch me. He arrived at about 7:30 am and we were home by 8:15 am.”
Kenneth Mews, Past member KDH Board (2000-2012), Past KDH Board Chair (2002-2005)
***Why a CT Scanner Matters***
A computed tomography (CT) scanner is a versatile diagnostic tool that provides detailed images of the body’s internal structures. It enables physicians to identify and locate a wide range of medical conditions such as tumors, fractures, and internal bleeding.
The ability to obtain accurate and timely diagnostic information significantly enhances the chances of successful treatment. By having a CT scanner available at KDH, including for emergencies, we empower our local medical professionals to make informed decisions swiftly, leading to improved patient outcomes.
The presence of a CT scanner at KDH will deliver another benefit by helping to attract and recruit talented healthcare professionals to our region – most doctors are not interested in working in hospitals that lack the adequate tools for them to effectively help their patients.
***How You Can Help: Next Steps**
Since 2019, when KDH CAO Frank Vassllo and I sat down to discuss the future of our local hospital, we have set our minds to bring a CT Scanner to our community.
Throughout the pandemic, Mr. Vassallo and I worked closely together for nearly two years to access a crucial pot of money from the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville that has been dedicated to financially supporting hospital capital expansions.
The fund, which is tax payer supported through a dedicated hospital levy, is one we believed should benefit all hospitals which serves residents who live in the Counties, which meant supporting the CT Scanner at KDH, not just bed expansions at the larger ones.
After many, many conversations with Counties staff and other Mayors, as well Minister Steve Clark’s crucial support, we were able to secure just under one million dollars from the United Counties.
North Grenville’s Council also made the decision to match this contribution by renewing an existing ten year agreement in which the Municipality was already contributing approximately just under $100,000 a year to capital costs.
With these contributions, we have already raised nearly two Million to considerably help offset the costs of expanding the KDH building to accommodate this very large machine. This leaves just under two million to be raised for the equipment itself and some ancillary coats.
And that is where you come in! This weekend, I urge you to support our local Hey Day event, one of Ontario’s largest indoor garage sales. Every single dollar raised will go to support our local hospital which is working tirelessly for the CT scanner. The event is led by the Hospital Auxillary and takes an enormous amount of time and energy – but all for a good cause!
Further, Joanne Mavis and the Kemptville District Hospital Foundation are also rallying together and prioritizing the acquisition of this life-saving technology by spearheading a crucial, multi-pronged fundraising campaign – a massive undertaking – to raise the remaining 2 million dollars needed to acquire this vital, lifesaving tool.
Obviously, Securing a CT scanner for Kemptville District Hospital will require a concerted effort from our entire community. Together, we can pool our resources, leverage existing networks, and garner support from various stakeholders.
The first milestone will be March 2024 with the first phase of construction and the first down payment on the CT Scanner due ($200,000).
How to Donate:
- Donations can be made online at www.kdhfoundation.ca
- By Calling or visiting the Foundation Office, 2675 Concession Road, Kemptville, 613-258-6133, x157, or 613 408 0086 (Joanne Mavis)
- Send in your donation by mail at P.O. Box 2007, 2675 Concession Road, Kemptville ON K0G 1J0
In my opinion, Investing in a CT scanner for Kemptville is an investment in the long-term health and well-being of our community.
Let’s all join forces, roll up our sleeves and get to work on this fundraising campaign, and ensure that Kemptville residents have access to this invaluable diagnostic technology, and the peace of mind it will bring as soon as possible.