LETTERS: Scan Europe for better care

Editor:

Re: Two-year wait for MRI surprises patient, MLA, Nov. 25

Editor:

Re: Two-year wait for MRI surprises patient, MLA, Nov. 25

I agree with Ms. Loretta Holmes that it is “ridiculous” that she was told to wait almost two years for an MRI exam in 2016.

There is absolutely no justification for it. If the B.C. Ministry of Health and Fraser Health should start using five private MRI clinics in the Lower Mainland, with no or very little wait list, the same way most European countries use their private MRI facilities to provide timely help to their citizens when they are in need for an MRI exam.

In Germany and France, the public hospitals transfer the agreed-upon dollar amount to a private MRI facility if the public system is unable to accommodate a person in a day or two. I understand that the estimated cost of MRI exam in the public system in Canada is between $700-$800 per MRI exam, which is made up of technical and professional components.

I can relate to Holmes’ experience of getting an ultrasound and then being told to get an MRI. I hurt my Achilles tendon playing squash and was sent to get an ultrasound to the dismay of my orthopedic doctor who wanted an MRI.

If you think of X-ray being the bronze diagnostic imaging exam and CT being the silver diagnostic imaging exam, then MRI will be considered to be the gold standard, especially when it comes down to any soft-tissues-related problems in the human body.

MRI is also considered to be a non-invasive diagnostic imaging modality, since it uses radio waves, just like our cellphones. No wonder, Japan has almost 40 MRI scanners per million of its population, while Canada has 10 MRI scanners per million, according to the latest OECD rating.

Syed Islam Haider, White Rock