Saskatoon

Private MRIs not yet decreasing public wait for scans: Sask. auditor

Judy Ferguson says wait time for MRIs went up slightly from March 2016 to end of December

Posted: June 06, 2017

The Saskatchewan government passed a law to allow private MRI scans if they are ordered by a doctor. (CBC)

Saskatchewan's auditor says a one-for-one model that allows private MRI scans as long as a clinic does a second scan at no charge for a patient on the public wait list is not decreasing wait times.

Judy Ferguson says the wait time for an MRI actually went up slightly from March 2016 to the end of December.

She also says it's taking a lot of resources for the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region to manage the approach, because information about the private scans are largely entered manually.

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Ferguson does note that the one-for-one model had only been in place nine months before the audit took place for her annual report.

The Saskatchewan government passed a law to allow private scans if they are ordered by a doctor.

Health Minister Jim Reiter said in January that the policy led to 2,200 MRI scans — at no cost to the taxpayer — and that 1,100 people were taken off the wait list.