The B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy continues to make progress as construction begins on Langley Memorial Hospital’s first MRI machine.
Patients in Langley and across the region will benefit from increased access to MRI exams and shorter wait times when the first-ever MRI for Langley Memorial Hospital opens mid-summer 2020.
“Waiting for an MRI is a stress too many people face,” said Premier John Horgan. “This new MRI machine will provide 7,500 MRI exams annually, which means shorter wait times and a better plan for treatment and recovery for people in Langley. It’s all part of our strategy to improve access to the diagnostics people need.”
Expanding the number of MRI suites in the Fraser Valley is a key part of the diagnostic strategy, as is fully utilizing existing machines to increase volumes again this year.
“Since launching the B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy in March 2018, the Province has exceeded its targets, completing 233,369 MRI exams in the first year (2018-19), a 23% increase from the previous year,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “In Fraser Health, more than 65,300 MRI exams were delivered, a 17% increase from the previous year. This year, the volume will rise further, by around 9,700 to 75,000. Provincewide, more than 248,000 MRI exams will be performed.”
Fraser Health is already on track to surpass the significant increase in MRI exams in 2018-19, as 11,420 MRI exams were performed in the first 60 days of this fiscal year compared to 9,359 for the same time period in 2018-19.
These ongoing gains will further benefit patients. In March 2019, the median wait time for an outpatient MRI exam in Fraser Health was 48 days, compared to 50% of patients waiting 89 days or less in April 2018.
The total project cost is $8.75 million, with $4.75 million provided by the Province of British Columbia through Fraser Health and $4 million provided by the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. This investment builds on the second MRI installed at Surrey’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in May and the purchase of two MRI community clinics in Abbotsford and Surrey last year.
Dr. Victoria Lee, president and CEO, Fraser Health –
“Waiting for a medical test can be stressful for patients and their loved ones. We’re excited to start construction for a new MRI machine at Langley Memorial Hospital in order to enhance the existing medical imaging services in the community. In the past year, Fraser Health has significantly increased the number of MRI exams performed and reduced the median wait time, which will be further reduced with the addition of the new MRI in Langley.”
Ellen Peterson, board chair, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation –
“Together with our donor community, we are thrilled to have construction begin for the new MRI in Langley. Our fundraising efforts have highlighted the philanthropic pride and ownership the community of Langley feels for the hospital. We’re grateful to our donors and the community, for their continued support to providing outstanding local health care services.”
* In 2018-19, Fraser Health completed more than 65,300 MRI exams, compared to 55,700 the previous year.
* In May 2019, Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey started operating a second MRI, which is the first 3T MRI in the Fraser Health region. Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre site is the second site, following the Royal Columbian Hospital, to provide specialized cardiac MRI services in Fraser Health.
* In September 2018, Fraser Health purchased two MRI community clinics in Surrey and Abbotsford to increase access to MRI services.
* An MRI exam is one of the tools used to diagnose a number of medical conditions, including abnormalities of the brain, as well as tumours, cysts and soft-tissue injuries in other parts of the body.