07/03/2013 11:20 EDT | Updated 09/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Nova Scotia to spend $1.1 million on new MRI for children's hospital

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government is spending $1.1 million to help upgrade an MRI scanner at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

The government says the current machine being used by the children and women's hospital is 11 years old and performs about 600 exams a month.

Premier Darrell Dexter says upgrading the equipment will improve the speed, quality and number of scans that are produced.

The machines, also known as magnetic resonance imagining scanners, are used to produce images of patients with cancer, brain injuries, as well as joint, bone and soft tissue injuries.

The upgrade is expected to cost about $1.5 million and be complete next month.

The IWK Foundation will pay the remaining $370,000 not covered by the province.