November 19, 2015 - 7:00 AM
VICTORIA - The B.C. government has announced a four-year plan to boost the annual number of magnetic-resonance-imaging scans by 65,000 in order to cut wait times averaging eight months.
Premier Christy Clark and Health Minister Terry Lake say the new strategy recognizes that patient access to the medical scans has been a challenge.
The MRI is a painless test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed internal images of the body to diagnose conditions, including tumours and soft-tissue injuries.
Each of B.C.'s health authorities has committed to increase the number of MRI exams by 45 per cent a year over four years by extending operating hours and possibly contracting out the service.
Clark says an aging population means provincial health authorities face increasing demand for medical-imaging services, and B.C.'s strong economy allows the province to invest in a new strategy to address waiting lists.
The government will add $20 million annually in funding for the extra services by the end of the fourth year.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015