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New MRIs aim to cut down patient wait times in Surrey

Last Updated May 23, 2019 at 12:08 pm PST

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The "3T MRI' is expected to provide quicker results and a better quality image for patients

It is the first time the 3T MRI is used in the Fraser Health region

Total project cost is $6.2 million and aims to cut down patient wait times

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – A new kind of MRI is being introduced in the Lower Mainland with the hope being it will help reduce patient wait times.

The “3T MRI” is said to work faster and provide better quality images and it will be housed at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey.

Premier John Horgan calls the move a major step in helping patients receive a clear diagnosis, and who need to begin treatment and recovery.

“This new, state-of-the-art MRI machine will deliver over 5,000 exams this year and make sure that people in Surrey can count on faster, better health care closer to home.”

This is part of the provincial government’s larger MRI investment, which also includes adding more of the regular machines for patient use.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix says over the past year, more people than ever have needed an MRI scan.

“Fraser Health more than 65,300 MRI exams were performed last year, a 17% increase from the previous year,” he says. “In March 2019, the median wait time for an outpatient MRI exam was 48 days or less, compared to 50% patients waiting 89 days or less in April 2018.”

The total project cost is $6.2 million. The Ministry of Health has contributed $5.5 million while the Surrey Hospital Foundation provided $500,000. The remaining $200,000 comes from Fraser Health.