Province to increase number of MRI scans completed in Northern B.C.

The new MRI at the Fort St. John Hospital. Photo by Chris Newton

VICTORIA, B.C. – The Province says it will increase the number of MRI scans completed in Northern B.C. from 7,600 to over 13,000 by 2019.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix has announced that the Province will do 37,000 more MRI exams by the end of March 2019 compared to the previous year.  To meet this number, the Province has made $11 million available to the public health-care system to add resources and capacity.

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“Wait times are simply too long in B.C., in part due to volumes that are 35% to 40% less than other provinces,” said Dix. “Increasing MRI exams by 37,000 exams in B.C. this year, with further increases planned for 2019-20, will reduce the uncertainty and pain caused by long waits. We plan to maximize resources and employ best practices in the public system to reduce wait times and improve care.”

The Province says it will reach this target by running existing machines longer, establishing a central intake at the regional level to reduce duplicate referrals and appointments, adding already planned MRI machines and by adding additional capacity to the public system.

In 2017-2018, Northern Health did 7,632 MRI scans, and under the new plan, the Province says Northern Health will complete 13,000 from 2018-2019.

The new MRI at the Fort St. John Hospital became operational in late September of 2017.

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