If Medicare won’t provide it, shouldn’t a service be private?

A 13.5% increase in non-urgent MRI scans since January has been singled out as Alberta Health Services [AHS] investigates a 20% increase in average wait times for MRI scans in Calgary over the past year. http://bit.ly/2bl0z2m

On August 15, 2016, the Calgary Herald reported: “That’s led Alberta Health Services officials to determine if too many non-urgent diagnostic procedures are being done.”

There are three levels of medical care.

  • “Emergency” is obviously how it sounds. The care is needed, now! The expression “Life and Death” comes to mind.
  • “Urgent” gives you a few days beyond “emergency.”

Then there’s “elective” or “non-urgent.”

  • It’s not an emergency and it’s not urgent. But it is necessary. Waiting weeks, months, sometimes more than a year can cost people their jobs. Their health can deteriorate. There can be immense stress on the family.

One AHS official allowed it’s difficult to determine if longer wait times for less urgent MRIs pose a health risk to patients.

This raises several question:

  • What are the health risks to a patient  if AHS denies a less urgent MRI scan?
  • Why should a patient be denied from purchasing the MRI scan privately if AHS has decided that it is not required, i.e., it is not covered under Medicare and would be an uninsured service. The average cost of a procedure in public facilities was $335. Shouldn’t an Albertan have the choice?

















Here’s another way of seeing the term “elective.”




Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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