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Back chat; Readers react to the B.C. government cutback of funding for diagnostic scans such as magnetic resonance imaging

The Province

Surely an emergency?
My three-year-old granddaughter has a severe involuntary tic, and we were told by a neurologist she may have a brain tumour. She's been on a MRI waiting list for over six months. Completely unacceptable! We 've been told that the list is long and we have to go to a larger centre to have this done as it involves general anesthesia because the child is so young. Isn't this an emergency?

MRI wait 'unacceptable'

Abbotsford News

By Jeff Nagel

Wait times for non-urgent MRI scans have ballooned to 20 months in Abbotsford, according to figures released by the Ministry of Health. In addition, the wait is as much as 18 months at several Lower Mainland hospitals, according to a survey released by the NDP.

New health-care funding model unveiled; Large hospitals to compete for cash for two years from $250-million pot

Vancouver Sun

By Pamela Fayerman, Rob Shaw and Richard Watts 
Sources: Canwest News Service and Times Colonist

The provincial government is changing the way it funds B.C.'s largest hospitals, a move health officials hope will lead to faster, better treatment.

The new system will provide financial incentives to those hospitals that demonstrate they can treat more patients quickly and cost-effectively, thereby lowering wait lists for common procedures like orthopedic surgery.

Labour landmines remain

Vancouver Sun

By Vaughan Palmer

The B.C. Liberals are celebrating the success to date of their "net zero mandate" for contract negotiation as a growing number of public sector unions are settling for two-year deals at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

The hold-the-line mandate looked suspect when it was announced last September. The Liberals were drawing the line when they were already sliding downward in the polls, thanks to the post-election shocker of the harmonized sales tax.

'Hangover Budget' Pleases Few

By Andrew MacLeod

Finance Minister Colin Hansen today presented a budget that shrinks the civil service and makes cuts across several ministries while keeping spending for health and education steady.

Need treatment, will travel

Business in Vancouver

By Noa Globerman

Millions of patients travel to places like Belgium, Costa Rica and South Africa annually to undergo urgent or elective medical procedures. Whether it's to avoid the high costs, long waits or poor quality they usually associate with their local health systems, the prognosis remains medical tourism is fast becoming a multibillion-dollar industry.

Letter to editor: Re: Public sector unions should push for more private involvement

Vancouver Sun

Re: Public sector unions should push for more private involvement, Nov. 17

Let's be clear about what privatized health care is about. It has nothing to do with universal access. It is a method of generating enormous profits from your illness or injury -- no more, no less. Dr. Brian Day, author of the Issues & Ideas piece, wants to divert attention from the real issue on his mind: profit.