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.”
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.
“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.”
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.