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Ontario seeks more private MRI, CT clinics for public scans

Written by on June 3, 2024

TORONTO — Ontario is looking to boost the number of publicly funded MRIs and CT scans offered through private clinics.

Right now there are seven such clinics in the province that provide one or both of the diagnostic imaging services, and Health Minister Sylvia Jones is announcing today that Ontario has launched a call for applications to expand that number.

She says new licences are expected to be issued in the fall and should give the province the ability to perform 100,000 more of those scans each year.

The government says the expansion of services will help reduce wait times for the scans to 28 days in every region of the province – the Ontario average is currently 90 days for MRIs and 81 days for CT scans.

This comes as part of the government’s plan to expand the number of facilities offering services such as cataract surgeries and adding hip and knee-replacement surgeries to those clinics.

Some health advocates have expressed concerns that increasing the role of private delivery is a stepping stone to privatization and having to pay for more services out of pocket, though the government says that will not happen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press