Quiet and nondescript, Conservative MLA for Fundy-River Valley, Dr. Jim Parrott, normally slips in and out of the House quite easily past the media. However, his stance as of late on his region's desire for a 3T MRI scanner at the Saint John Regional Hospital has brought him into the light, pitting him against his other Tory colleagues, specifically, Minister of Health Madeline Dube.
Dube caused a firestorm of protest from the southern city a few months ago after she ordered Saint John would receive a new 1.5T MRI machine instead of the more advanced 3T MRI it's been requesting for several years. The city and the Minister battled back and forth in the press, especially after the hospital foundation offered to help defray the costs of the machine and was refused.
Dr. Parrott broke ranks with the government last month and joined with Saint John hospital officials calling for the 3T MRI. This no doubt helped with the ensuing meetings that have been going on quietly behind closed doors between the government and hospital officials. Although the 3T MRI purchase wasn't specifically mentioned in the budget yesterday, with the government spending $1.5 billion on procurement of various goods and services, perhaps it's why Parrott is optimistic in the video above that Saint John will get the 3T MRI machine it wants.
A former heart surgeon, Parrott moved to Saint John in 1990 to start the New Brunswick Heart Centre at the Saint John Regional Hospital. He served as the head of the centre until his retirement in 2007. He was elected to represent Fundy-River Valley in the September 27, 2010 provincial election.