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The Ottawa Hospital is improving MRI service

November 4, 2011  Contrary to what recent media reports of retroactive wait-times data may suggest, ongoing process improvements and recent investments into new MRI capacity will see The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) significantly improve its MRI service.

Scans for high risk conditions and medical emergencies are completed on a priority basis to ensure our patients receive the safest care in a timely manner. In fact, TOH is the MRI referral site in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). As the region’s only tertiary healthcare facility – and as the sole provider of regional neurosciences and cancer programs – referrals for MRI services at TOH are on the rise.

TOH works closely with the LHIN to address increasing wait times, and secure the resources required to ensure timely MRI service.

TOH operates all 3 of its existing MRI units about 138 hours per week. This equates to 24 hours per day, 5 days per week of service, plus weekend shifts.

TOH also secured new funds for more service hours, and for the purchase of a fourth MRI unit. This investment by the Government of Ontario will enable an increase in service of 2,080 additional hours per year. The new MRI will be operational in January 2012, and it will operate 130 hours per week.

This is in addition to 1,151 new hours in funding allocated to TOH for its 3 existing MRIs, for the period from October 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012. The new funding has allowed TOH to add new weekend shifts to its MRI schedule.

In all, these new hours will allow TOH to resolve the backlog recently reported in media, and enhance service by enabling an additional 3,000 scans by March 31, 2012.