B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix announces Fraser Health’s purchase of two new MRI machines in Surrey and Abbotsford while at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey Monday. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Fraser Health to buy two private MRI clinics in Surrey, Abbotsford

New clinics will provide 2,000 more MRIs by fiscal year-end

Patients in the Fraser Valley will soon have access to two more MRI machines, as the province takes over two private clinics later this fall.

“Fraser Health will take over Surrey MRI (5660 192 St.) and Fraser Valley MRI (2151 McCallum Rd.) in Abbotsford,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey on Monday. The sale will be finalized Oct. 1

Dix declined to reveal how much the clinics would cost Fraser Health, citing confidentiality as part of the commercial sale, but said staff working there would transfer to the public system.

The two clinics will begin operating publicly within a month and will do 2,000 exams this year alone.

“These procedures will be in addition to the 63,000 exams Fraser Health in on track to complete by March 31, 2019,” Dix said.

The purchases are part of the province’s goal of 225,000 MRIs in B.C. in 2018-19, up from 188,000 in 2017-18.

READ MORE: New MRI machines, funding announced for four B.C. cities

READ MORE: B.C. government to increase access to MRI exams

READ MORE: Improving access to MRIs is ‘an important step,’ says Hospital Employees’ Union

“When I became health minister, we were 10th in Canada in terms of delivering MRIs to people,” said Dix. “[Fraser Health] historically had fewer MRIs per population than just about any place in Canada.”

Currently, Fraser Health has four 24/7 machines.

“Starting on April 1, 2019, these new public health care MRI clinics will perform 10,000 new MRI examinations each year.”

Currently, across B.C. 50 per cent of patients wait more than 41 days for an MRI and 10 per cent of patients wait at least 200 days.

Fraser Health chair Jim Sinclair said the announcement would end years of suffering by people in the region who have not had access to proper care.

By buying already operating clinics, he said, Fraser Health was saving itself the cost and time needed to get a new clinic off the ground.

Chair Jim Sinclair speaks about Fraser Health’s purchase of two new MRI machines in Surrey and Abbotsford while at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey Monday. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)

Said BC Health Coalition co-chair Edith MacHattie: “What we see with the private, for-profit clinics is there’s financial incentive for them to perform as many scans as possible, even if they’re not necessary or duplications.”

When there’s no push to make money, she said, the only MRIs the public healthcare system is interested in providing are the ones patients need.

Having a two-tier healthcare system for MRIs ran the danger of “commodifying people’s illness and suffering and pain,” she said, and letting people pay to jump the queue.

“We have said very strongly as Canadians that people should access healthcare as a human right and that everyone deserves high quality care whether you have $2 to your name or $200,000.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

Delta police campaign shines a light relationship violence

Campaign comes after a Delta man was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats

‘A labour of love’: High school turns into ‘toy shop’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau

Fraser Heights Secondary has been making toys for the non-profit for more than a decade

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Most Read