In an effort to reduce wait times, the provincial government has promised an $11 million investment to allow 37,000 more MRI exams to be conducted throughout the province by the end of 2019, compared to the previous year.
“This is a bold step to dramatically increase the number of MRI exams being done in B.C., and this coming year alone, the increase will be close to 20%,” said Minister of Health, Adrian Dix.
“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. We know that by rebuilding and expanding capacity in the public system, we will improve access to care and patient outcomes.”
According to Ministry data, over 50% of British Columbians wait more than 41 days, and 10% of patients wait over 199 days to have an MRI.
The $11 million will go towards increasing the province’s health care system capacity to conduct these exams by:
- operating existing machines longer to accommodate additional exams,
- establishing centralized intake at a regional level that will reduce duplicate referrals and appointments, and prevent wasted operating time, while also offering patients the earliest appointment available in a region, as appropriate
- installing already-planned MRI machines
- adding additional capacity to the public system.
Beyond MRIs, BC NDP Premier John Horgan also announced the province’s plan to complete over 9,000 more surgeries than last year, in 2019.