A new MRI unit at Cape Breton Regional Hospital will mean faster and better quality scans for about 5,600 patients every year. “The MRI unit is a key diagnostic piece of equipment that gives our doctors critical information to help identify a course of treatment for our patients,” said Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Municipal Affairs, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “I am pleased government has approved the purchase of a new unit, ensuring Nova Scotians are able to receive care in a timely manner.” This will replace the existing MRI unit, which is the only one on Cape Breton Island. A second unit in Nova Scotia Health Authority’s eastern zone is used by patients at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish. An MRI is a medical imaging process that is widely used for medical diagnosis and determining the progress of disease, including cancers. “This is welcome news for our diagnostic imaging team and for our patients,” said Dr. Syed Zafar Ali, chief radiologist and medical department head for diagnostic imaging in Nova Scotia Health Authority’s eastern zone. “A new machine means newer technology that will help give us even better image quality and faster, more efficient scanning. It supports the work we do in diagnosing patients and helps to make sure our patients continue to get the appropriate follow up care or treatment.” A request for proposals will be issued in the next few weeks. The MRI unit will cost about $2.2 million.