Mobile X-ray service now available at N.B. nursing homes

A mobile X-ray service provided by the Government of New Brunswick is being extended to residents of long term care homes to reduce patient stress and free up ambulances.

The province said Monday the service expansion is thanks to a $1.1 million investment by the provincial government.

“Having mobile X-ray services will help provide necessary care to those living in long-term care homes, leading to healthier outcomes,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

Officials say the service, offered through Extra-Mural, makes it easier on nursing home residents who normally might have difficulty taking trips to the hospital.

The department says a year-long pilot project at several long term care homes in Saint John, including the Loch Lomond Villa, helped about 360 residents.

It also led to a decrease in ambulance transports to the hospital for nursing home and special care home residents.

“This service will be instrumental in providing quality care for residents living in a long-term care setting,” said Ginette Pellerin, vice-president of the Extra-Mural Program.

Government says services will be provided by the Horizon and Vitalité health networks, noting service will be rolled out gradually.

Margaret Melanson, interim CEO and president of Horizon Health Network, said improving access to services and enhancing the health-care experience are critical priorities.

“We are very hopeful that expanding access to mobile X-ray services will not only benefit long-term care residents, but also help ease congestion in our emergency departments and improve patient flow throughout our facilities,” she said.

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