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Cyclotron helping patients in Saskatchewan, Alberta

The provincial government says the cyclotron in Saskatoon has reduced wait times for Saskatchewan patients requiring PET-CT scans. File / Global News

The provincial government announced on Monday that Saskatchewan’s cyclotron has reduced wait times to one week for patients in the province requiring PET-CT scans.

The cyclotron began supplying radioisotopes to Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital (RUH) in June 2016. Government officials said PET-CT service is benefitting greatly from the local supply of fluorine-18 as RUH serves around 2,100 patients annually.

“With a secure supply of locally-produced medical isotopes in place, wait times for PET- CT scans have been reduced significantly,” Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said in a press release.

“Critically ill patients are getting the care they need faster. The cyclotron is helping to make life better in Saskatchewan.”

READ MORE: Alberta PET/CT scan equipment running again after month-long delay

The cyclotron is also currently serving as a back-up supplier to Foothills Medical Centre while Alberta’s regular supplier undergoes scheduled maintenance. During this period, an estimated 65 patients in Calgary will be able undergo medical scans.

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“Everyone is really excited about supplying to Calgary in addition to providing radioisotopes to Royal University Hospital,” cyclotron facility manager Ghislain Boudreault said in a statement.

“Because of where we are located and our capacity, we can supply to hospitals in Western Canada. We can help patients, not just in Saskatchewan but also in Alberta.”

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The Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences houses the province’s first cyclotron and radioisotope production facility. It is operated by the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation.

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