BC Views – $20 million to reduce MRI waits

There are funds to extend operating hours for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals and clinics.

Waiting up to 36 weeks for an MRI scan is better than in some provinces, but it’s still too long for B.C. patients, and that wait should begin to get shorter by the new year.

Premier Christy Clark and Health Minister Terry Lake announced Wednesday that with economic numbers improving in the province, there are funds to extend operating hours for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals and clinics.

The extra scans should start to show up by the end of the year, and once the increase reaches $20 million a year in 2019, there should be 45 per cent more procedures done than the current rate.

Lake said additional evening and weekend operating hours should be in effect in some regions before Christmas. Where private clinics are available, the health authorities may contract work while they’re recruiting more specialists for hospitals.

Dr. Stuart Silver, acting medical director for medical imaging at Island Health, said MRI is used for conditions including joint aches and pains to heart conditions to brain tumors.

“The information we get can be a game changer in many cases,” Silver said. “We have patients who are booked for surgery who have an MRI, and the MRI suggests that they shouldn’t have surgery. Conversely we have people where surgery is not considered, and we do the MRI and realize that that is the way to go.”

Lake said he wishes the ministry had acted sooner on what has been a long-standing concern of doctors and health authorities.

“The radiologists have certainly been letting us know about it,” he said.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press newspapers.

 

 

Just Posted

Volunteers take down after another successful Ladysmith Festival of Lights

Good crowd comes out for a sunny Sunday volunteer session of taking down decorations

Blood moon over Ladysmith

Gerry Beltgens shook off cold fingers this weekend to capture this image… Continue reading

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

Ladysmith business recognized for supporting diversity in the workplace

Ladysmith Home Hardware, Ladysmith Pharmasave, LRCA, and Maya Norte saluted

Editorial: Looking back at windstorm helps us prepare for next time

BC Hydro says it was the most destructive storm in its history

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Speaker Darryl Plecas’ report details ‘flagrant overspending’

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Vancouver Island senior dies after medical emergency and rollover crash

Incident happened Saturday in Nanaimo on Poplar Street

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Most Read