BC Breast Cancer Screening Program van in Prince Rupert in July, 2020. There are two streams of screening and diagnosis which can be confusing for those who have not gone through the process, Dr. Jaco Fourie medical lead for Northern Health Cancer Care said. (Photo supplied by BC Breast Cancer Screening Program)

New imaging technologist to perform breast screenings at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital

Mammography services resume in Prince Rupert

  • Nov. 23, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Vital mammogram service has resumed at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital on Nov. 10, after just less than a year of not providing breast imaging services to local women.

“Our newly trained technologist will be performing screening and diagnostic mammography,” Pam Amante, chief technologist for medical imaging said in a Northern Health memo on Oct. 30. The memo was part of a Northwest Regional Hospital Board agenda package for a meeting on Nov. 20.

The memo reports that restart plans have taken into account the back logged numbers and that a COVID-19 safety plan is in place for the modality.

“This service has been suspended for 12 months and we are asking for physician and patient understanding as we provide this service in a much different environment than previously,” Amante said.

In July 2020, The Northern View reported that Northern Health had announced on July 4 a new technologist had been hired, however the E.T.A at Prince Rupert was unknown due to COVID-19 restrictions and training time-line.

“More recently we have had a shortage of mammography technicians and because of COVID the training of the mammography technician was interrupted. As a consequence the whole process got delayed,” Dr. Jaco Fourie medical lead for Northern Health Cancer Care said in July.

The lack of services forced women to travel the 140 km and up to two hours drive to Terrace for diagnostic imaging. Some women are foregoing the health services due to travel, time off work, comfort zone, climate conditions and time of day, Laurie Cullen, Prince Rupert resident and breast cancer survivor said.

READ MORE: Breast cancer screening available in Prince Rupert – ten days only

more to come


K-J Millar | Journalist 

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