New medical capability comes to CFB Halifax

A crane places a CT scanner into the parking lot of CF H Svcs C (A) at Stadacona on June 19, 2020. SUBMITTED

New medical capability comes to CFB Halifax

By Elizabeth Sharpe,
CFB Halifax PA Intern

On June 19, 2020, a containerized Deployable Computer Tomography Scanner (CT scanner) arrived in the parking lot of CF H Svcs C( A), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) medical clinic at CFB Halifax. There has not been a CT scanner in-house at the clinic since 2015, when the computer in the initial machine purchased in 2007 was deemed obsolete and parts could not be obtained to fix it. Currently, any patients requiring a CT scan are redirected outside of the unit for service.

Based on the number of patients who required a CT Scan in 2015 when the machine was operational, and on the 820 patients in the Atlantic Region in 2018, LCol Rochelle Heudes, Commanding Officer at CF H Svcs C(A), requested that the Deployable CT scanner be sent to Halifax instead of CFB Petawawa. This request was also supported by the Chief of Radiology, since the machine would be used more in Halifax as a result of the two Civilian Radiologists employed at the clinic.

“The placement of the CT scanner will benefit CAF members in the Atlantic Region by providing enhanced patient care opportunities, while maintaining the standard of care that patients have grown accustomed to receiving,” explains LCol Heudes. According to, a CT scanner is used to take multiple X-ray images of the body from different angles, and can be used for examining internal injuries from a trauma, diagnosing diseases and planning for medical treatments such as surgery or radiation treatment.   CFB Halifax has one of the largest clinics in the Canadian Forces Health Services Group Canada-wide. The team at CF H Svcs C (A) has all of the resources in-house to utilize the CT scanner to its fullest potential, which was a major factor in the request for it to be moved to Halifax. CF H Svcs C (A) currently employs six Medical Radiology Technicians, four of whom are qualified on the CT     

“Having a scanner in-house is going to significantly reduce the utilization of civilian resources,” explains Maj Danielle Stacey, Director of Pharmacy Services at CF H Svcs C(A).  “While some patients may still need to be sent off-unit, 75% or more of the scans will be done here on the base. Units across Atlantic Canada will [also] be able to utilize the scanner.”

Testing on the scanner will take place between July 14-17, 2020, and physicists will be on-site conducting radiation testing the following week. The official deployment of the CT scanner is set for July 24, 2020. Although the machine will be ready for use on this date, no patients will be treated until all staff are sufficiently trained. As this machine is a CAF asset, the main purpose of the CT scanner will continue to be deployment in support of 1 Canadian Field Hospital Operations.

Congratulations to CF H Svcs C (A) on the receipt and future deployment of this important piece of equipment!