The new X-ray equipment is unpacked outside the South Similkameen Health Centre. The service will be available again in Keremeos after Labour Day. (Facebook photo)

New X-ray machine at the South Similkameen Health Centre will be up and running after Labour Day

Interior Health confirms the equipment was replaced because it was an old version

The new X-ray machine in the general radiology room at the South Similkameen Health Centre will be up and running after Labour Day.

Lorne Sisley, corporate director, facilities management and operations at Interior Health, confirmed the old piece of equipment, which dates to 1997, was shut down in June.

READ MORE: New way to connect with South Okanagan-Similkameen family physicians

“In the interim, since the beginning of June, we’ve had patients go to Oliver or they’ve had the opportunity to go up to Penticton,” he said. “In some cases, they may have just deferred getting an image done and wait until after Labour Day.

There might be a backlog in getting the service done at the health centre as a result, Sisley added.

“We’ll bring in extra help if we need to do extra shifts. It doesn’t sound like there actually are too many of those people who are just deferred. Most of them have just gone to Oliver or Penticton.”

But the project is on schedule and on budget, he said.

“We’re hoping that this time period that it has been out, turns out to be a positive for the community and that they have a reliable piece of equipment going forward.”

READ MORE: Changing the picture of family medical care

In total, the province contributed $306,000 for the new piece of equipment and the Similkameen Regional Hospital District contributed $204,000.

As well, the chiller system at the South Similkameen Health Centre was also replaced in the spring.

“We realized last summer, during the smoky conditions, it was really being taxed because we close everything up trying to keep it cool inside. It was really putting pressure on it and it was time to replace that,” Sisley added.

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