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Dont waste time on ideological experiment: HSA to Health Authority

For immediate release

Reid Johnson, president of Health Sciences Association, today urged the Vancouver Island Health Authority not to waste time conducting experiments in ideology when they could be taking action to reduce MRI wait times immediately.

Johnson was commenting on VIHAs decision to seek bids to perform 6000 MRI scans in private facilities outside the public system, where MRI machines and staff are already underused. The bid makes clear that the process will be scrapped if private suppliers do not offer improved effectiveness compared to existing facilities in the public system.

"This is all very interesting, but British Columbians need faster access to MRIs right now, today," said Johnson. "And we already know the public system is more efficient that the private system. An MRI scan in the public system costs a fraction of what private suppliers are charging for the same thing."

Health authorities in BC have established a cost of about $200 per MRI scan conducted at facilities in the public system. Private clinics offering MRIs charge about $800.

"Right now, while thousands of British Columbians wait for access to MRIs, the machines and the staff who run them are underutilized," said Johnson. "So let's get on with the job. Instead of waiting for the bid process to prove once again that the public system is cost-effective and efficient, the HSA believes its more important to reduce wait times for sick and injured British Columbians by adding capacity to facilities in the public system."

The Health Sciences Association is the union representing more than 16,000 health science professionals who are part of BCs modern health care team.

Click here to view the original VIHA request for proposals on BC Bid

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For more information please contact David Bieber at 604-880-6156

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