B.C. government promises to cut MRI wait times
In the B.C. government’s continuing quest to cut down on medical wait times, the province has announced an additional $11 million to increase the number of MRI exams. The government is aiming to conduct 37,000 more exams across the province by the end of March 2019.
“We are delivering on our promise to restore services and find capacity in our public health-care system so that British Columbians don’t have to wait months and months for prescribed exams,” said Dix. “We know that by rebuilding and expanding capacity in the public system, we will improve access to care and patient outcomes.”
The province is aiming to conduct 225,000 MRI exams in the 2018-19 fiscal year, up from 188,000 this past fiscal year. Currently, 50 per cent of patients are waiting more than 41 days for an MRI and 10 per cent of patients wait more than 199 days.
“Wait times are simply too long in B.C., in part due to volumes that are 35 per cent to 40 per cent less than other provinces,” said Dix. “Our plan is to maximize resources and employ best practices in the public system to reduce wait times and improve care.”
The government is promising to hit targets by operating MRI machines more hours during the day and creating a centralized intake at a regional level that will reduce duplicate referrals and appointments. The centralized approach will ensure that MRI’s are the most appropriate choice for people and that the tests are done in a hospital or clinic that accommodate patients the quickest.
Already planned new MRI machines will be installed do deal with the increased the load. B.C. Premier John Horgan announced last week that the province is planning on 9,400 more surgeries with the public healthcare system by the end of March 2019.
WATCH HERE: B.C. gov’t launches plan to increase MRI access
Expected MRI exams by region in 2018-19
Norther Health: 13,000, up 70.3 per cent from 2017-18
Interior Health: 26,000, up 25.5 per cent from 2017-18
Fraser Health: 63,000, up 14.1 per cent from 2017-18
Vancouver Coastal Health: 63,000, up 11.4 per cent from 2017-18
Island Health: 48,000, up 26.3 per cent from 2017-18
Provincial Health Service Authority: 12,000, up 18.1 per cent from 2017-18
Current Wait Times for MRIs in days
Norther Health: 56
Interior Health: 56
Fraser Health: 87
Vancouver Coastal Health: 14
Island Health: 45
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