B.C. Premier John Horgan flashes a – Vulcan sign? – to Now-Leader reporter Tom Zytaruk before making a funding announcement in Surrey this morning. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Health care

B.C. premier announces opening of state-of-art MRI unit in Surrey

Second unit means Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is now able to deliver cardiac MRI services

A new, state-of-the-art 3T MRI suite is open at Surrey’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, which means the centre will be able to deliver cardiac MRI services in the city for the first time.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement this morning in Surrey.

“A clear diagnosis is the first step toward treatment and recovery. We are continuing to make strides towards reducing wait times for MRI exams,” said Horgan in a release.

“This new, state-of-the-art MRI machine will deliver over 5,000 exams this year and make sure that people in Surrey can count on faster, better health care closer to home.”

An MRI scan 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.

This is the second new MRI machine at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, and the first 3T MRI in the Fraser Health region to be used as part of the strategy. A 3T MRI works faster and produces higher quality images with shorter turnaround between patients.

Having a second MRI machine at the centre means that it will be able to deliver cardiac MRI services in Surrey for the first time and will help increase the total number of MRIs for waiting patients in the Fraser region.

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre will be the second site, following the Royal Columbian Hospital, to provide cardiac MRI services in the Fraser Health region.

READ ALSO: Health Minister opens ‘urgent primary care’ centre in Surrey

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The B.C. Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy launched in March 2018. In the strategy’s first year, the province completed 233,369 MRI exams across B.C. The number of exams is expected to increase to more than 248,000 in 2019-20.

“Last year government launched the new strategy and people are already benefiting throughout the province and in this region,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, who was also in Surrey for the announcement.

“For example, in Fraser Health more than 65,300 MRI exams were performed last year, a 17 per cent increase from the previous year. In March 2019, the median wait time for an outpatient MRI exam was 48 days or less, compared to 50 per cent patients waiting 89 days or less in April 2018.”

The total project cost is $6.2 million, with $5.5 million provided by the Ministry of Health, $500,000 by the Surrey Hospital Foundation and $200,000 from Fraser Health.

More to come.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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Surrey’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: partnershipsbc.ca)

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