Ontario Expanding Access to MRI Services Across the Province
Helping Ontarians Access Diagnostic Screening Faster and Closer to Home
December 12, 2022
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COLLINGWOOD — The Ontario government is improving people’s access to diagnostic imaging services and reducing wait times by investing over $20 million in operating funding to support the addition of 27 new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in hospitals across Ontario.
“Our government is ensuring hospitals across the province have the funds they need to operate their new MRI machines and increase access to diagnostic imaging for people in their communities,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “For some communities, this funding means they will have their first-ever MRI machine and residents will have more convenient access to care closer to home.”
This funding will provide hospitals in all regions of the province with annual operational funding for new MRI machines. With this investment, some small and rural community hospitals will now be able to operate their very first MRI machine. For people in these communities, this means they will have more convenient access to diagnostic imaging and no longer need to travel to receive an MRI scan.
This funding will also support additional MRI machines in hospitals in high-population growth areas with increased demand for MRI services. Patients in these communities will also benefit from increased MRI services closer to home. With more MRI services throughout the province, patients can be diagnosed faster and if needed, begin treatment and follow-up care even sooner.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical imaging technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take detailed pictures of organs and tissues in the body. MRIs are used to diagnose many health problems, including brain injuries, heart disease and various tumours and cancers.
- This funding brings the total investment in operational funding for new MRI machines to $40 million, increasing the government’s 2021-22 commitment to invest $30 million by an additional $10 million to help hospitals increase MRI capacity and services. In total, the province is providing operational funding for 49 new MRI machines in 42 hospitals across the province.
- As part of its Plan to Stay Open: Health System Stability and Recovery, through the Surgical Recovery Strategy, the government is adding more than 150,000 one-time additional operating hours in 2022-23 for hospital-based MRI and CT machines, ensuring better and more equitable access to diagnostic imaging services.
- The Ontario government is investing over $300 million in 2022-23 as part of the province’s surgical recovery strategy, bringing the total investment to approximately $880 million over the last three fiscal years.
“The Ontario Association of Radiologists welcomes the government’s investment announcement of operational funding for new MRI scanners across Ontario. MRI is central to the detection and management of diseases, including cancer, strokes, and cardiac disease. This investment into MRI infrastructure will reduce wait times worsened by the pandemic and help save lives. Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologists remain committed to working alongside the government and Ministry to provide high-quality diagnostic care to Ontario patients.”
– Dr. David Jacobs
President, Ontario Association of Radiologists
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