Manitoba

Misericordia unveils province's first clinic for walk-in, less-urgent CT scans

Manitoba now has its first walk-in clinic for CT scans that aren't urgent. 

Health agencies expect to alleviate pressures on emergency rooms by diverting some scans to new facility

It is expected a new centre permitting expanded access to CT scans in Manitoba will enable an additional 4,766 additional scans every year. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Manitoba now has its first walk-in clinic for CT scans that aren't urgent. 

The new diagnostic centre at Misericordia Health Centre, with extended evening and weekend hours, is expected to ease the strain on emergency rooms grappling with a rise in patients who require CT scans, health officials announced on Thursday. 

"This is going to have, I believe, a demonstrable effect on our system," said Health Minister Cameron Friesen.

He said that catering to walk-in patients benefits everyone, particularly people coming in from outside of Winnipeg for treatment, who otherwise have to make an extra trip into the city for the test.                

The province is spending $94,000 to support the Diagnostic Imaging Outpatient Centre annually, which is expected to permit 4,766 additional computed tomography scans every year.

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen expects wait times to fall as a result of a dedicated centre for less-urgent CT scans. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Eligible patients will be referred by their health-care provider and can either make an appointment or visit at their own convenience.

The centre, which has been open since April 1, can accommodate seven CT scans a day. It is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For the most part, the type of CT scans available at Misericordia do not require a contrast, which involves taking a substance to allow the organ or tissue under examination to be seen more clearly.

The province says since 2015, the number of CT scans performed has increased by 26 per cent, to nearly 217,000 last year.

The government will examine the new model over the next couple months and expand it to other ultrasound procedures if it is deemed successful.

About the Author

Ian Froese

Reporter

Ian Froese is covering the Manitoba provincial election for CBC Manitoba. He previously has reported on provincial politics and breaking news in Winnipeg, Brandon and Steinbach. Story idea? Email ian.froese@cbc.ca.

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