KINCARDINE, ONT. -- Work is already underway to bring the Kincardine Hospital its first ever CT scanner.

“We’re very excited to be installing a new CT scanner at the Kincardine site of the South Bruce Grey Health Centre. We’re moving forward with the installation, sometime this fall,” says South Bruce Grey Health Centre CEO Michael Barrett.

But not everybody is happy with the CT scanner the hospital board has chosen. It has decided to install the Siemens Edge Plus, cheaper and newer - not the Siemens Drive, more expensive, but considered superior by many.

“The community wants the best for us. We’re a growing a community. We can support it. We’re great with community fundraising, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t have it,” says Judi Brown, a long-time Kincardine resident.

Barrett says there is no clinical difference between the Drive and Edge Plus models. But at a recent meeting members of the Kincardine Physicians Group, say they’d prefer the more expensive Drive CT, calling it “a more functional machine,” suggesting the Edge Plus model may soon not meet the needs of the community.

“Why not give us the best. This is what we want,” says Kincardine resident Lorelle Hedley.

Kincardine would also be the first hospital in Canada to install at Edge Plus CT, concerning to some of those opposed, but exciting to those in favour.

The price of the two machines is different. $2.3 million for the Drive CT vs. $1.6 million for the Edge Plus. And that matters to the hospital board, who are saving for a multi-million dollar overhaul of the entire Kincardine Hospital.

“We’ll be going back out to the community for over $9 million for the first phase of locally-raised funding. So, if we can get a machine that does the job, same quality, we want to make the right decision, that allows us to look for further investment in the future,” says Barrett.

Going to the community for that kind of funding may be a tough sell right now.

Over 1,600 people have signed a petition asking the hospital board to buy the Drive CT instead, and if they don’t, future fundraising may be in doubt.

“I think we need to hit them in the money belt. If this happens, you’re not getting any more money from us. That might work, but then everyone’s concerned about what’s going to happen down the road,” says Brown.

“No, nobody wants to fundraise. Definitely we’re questioning, because they’re not giving us answers. The board has lost the trust in the community, bottom line,” says Hedley.

Barrett says the board did their best to balance CT quality and the bottom line, as they embark on years of fundraising to totally redevelop the hospital.

Construction to install the Edge Plus CT has already begun at the Kincardine Hospital. It’s expected to be installed this fall.