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

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

Anger growing among B.C. salmon anglers shut out of public fishery

Fisheries minister stands by “very difficult” decisions to limit openings

Potential COVID-19 exposure at Northern B.C. wedding, headstone raising

Several positive cases identified in Fort St James

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Most Read