Manitoba Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says he’s willing to consider following Saskatchewan’s two-for-one MRI initiative to reduce wait times for diagnostic tests, even if it means provoking the federal government.
Goertzen says the program has merit and he’s open to other options for private-sector delivery of the tests.
Manitoba would have to introduce enabling legislation if it were to adopt a two-for-one exchange, but the minister says he would like to see a proposal.
Under Saskatchewan’s program, patients can buy MRI tests from private providers to avoid long waits, but the provider must agree to test someone on the public wait list at no charge to the province.
The Wall government says since the new system came into effect earlier this year, 2,200 MRIs have been done at no cost to taxpayers, the waiting list for scans has dropped by more than 700 patients and the province has saved nearly $1 million.
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Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott told Saskatchewan last month all medically necessary diagnostic services should be covered by provincial health insurance plans, whether the tests are done in a private clinic or a hospital.
(The Canadian Press)