Re: Patients face long wait in pain for MRI, Nov. 4.
I am not surprised to read the article in the Peace Arch News about Peter McQuade on the MRI wait times in the Lower Mainland.
Unfortunately, we have a similar problem right across Canada.
You get much better perspectives if you look at the latest report published by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) in 2011 about Canada’s standing in the top 20 developed countries around the world in terms of number of MRI units/million of their population:
1. Japan (46.9); 2. U.S. (31.5); 18. Turkey (10.5); 20. Canada (8.5).
MRI was first introduced in the early ’80s as a clinical diagnostic imaging modality as the modality of choice to detect any soft tissues problems in the body. By the early ’90s, doctors in Japan and the U.S. were finding out that X-rays and ultrasounds were showing nothing, while MRI exams started to look quite promising in showing soft tissues problems in the human body.
So, health-care providers in partnership with the referring physicians in Japan and the U.S. decided to leap-frog to ordering MRI exams. This led to public and health-care providers putting greater pressure on politicians to provide more MRI money and resources.
It is obvious now in 2015 why Japan and the U.S. are #1 and #2 without any wait times, and Canada is last.
Dr. Syed Haider, Pacific Rim Teleradiology Services, White Rock