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

Residents speak out against proposed Parksville affordable housing development

Environment a primary concern; land is largely on a 200-year-old floodplain away from city centre

‘Epic sky palace’: Parksville businesses grant wish for young boy recovering from cancer

Eleven-year-old Kai Hennessey receives treehouse of his dreams

PQB crime report: RCMP on hunt for prowler, counterfeiters, car thieves

Police received 203 complaints the week of Dec. 29 to Jan. 4

Power lines cut as thieves strike Parksville veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Nanaimo hospital’s new 5,000-kilogram MRI magnet delivered

$1.97-million magnet will boost NRGH medical imaging capabilities

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read