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.

 

Just Posted

Lack of security: why Vancouver Island food production is on the decline

Big Read: agriculture a big, expensive commitment as advocates push to make us more food secure

Earth Day 2018 focuses on ending plastic pollution

“Choose one easily changeable plastic item that you can work to eliminate from your day-to-day life.”

Tofino Shorebird Festival ready for flight

Annual event raises awareness of tiny travellers

Snowbirds fly over Tofino and Ucluelet

“We had front row seats.”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Most Read