Wait times for CT and MRI scans in Alberta are worsening as the health authority dramatically underutilizes its equipment, a report by the Auditor General has found.
The report by Doug Wylie, tabled Thursday in the legislature, examined intake and scheduling processes for outpatient MRIs and CT scans within Alberta Health Services and found that in the 2019 calendar year only 33 per cent of CT capacity and 58 per cent of MRI capacity were used.
Alberta had the second-lowest usage of CT equipment on weekends of all Canadian provinces and fifth lowest usage of MRI equipment that year. By conducting the same number of exams on weekend days as on weekdays, AHS has the capacity to perform an additional 80,000 CT exams and 34,000 MRI exams each year, Wylie said.
Overall, the report described a decentralized system where referrals are completed by hand, there are inconsistencies in how tests are prioritized and patients are not able to be booked for scans outside of their local medical zone, even if there are shorter wait times nearby.
Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics