MRI wait times escalate in Calgary

Rapid growth in the number of follow-up MRI scans has resulted in a 20% increase in the average wait time for an elective or nonurgent MRI scan in the Canadian city of Calgary in Alberta.

According to an August 15 report in the Calgary Herald, the average wait time in a public facility increased to 18 weeks, compared with 14.9 weeks in June 2015. In addition, 90% of patients had to wait 35 weeks for an MR scan, compared with 24 weeks in June of last year.

The survey by Alberta Health Services (AHS) also found a 14% increase in nonurgent scans since January.

AHS officials offered no reason for the increase in follow-up scans, according to the report, but they are reviewing physician practices.

Since 2011-2012, the number of MRI scans performed province-wide increased 17% to 194,000, while the population rose approximately 10%, according to the newspaper.

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