Magnetic resonance imaging helps diagnose conditions in joints

$20 million a year to reduce wait for MRI

Waits up to 36 weeks mean delayed or incorrect diagnosis for everything from joint pain the brain tumours

Waiting up to 36 weeks for an MRI scan is better than 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 performance improving in the province, funds are available 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 tumours.

“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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

All Kootenay Boundary parks and outdoor facilities closed

RDKB reminds all residents the shutdown is for public safety and in response to COVID-19

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read