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This article was published 25/4/2019 (266 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THE Misericordia Health Centre has expanded its diagnostic services to allow for thousands more CT scans to be performed per year on a more flexible schedule for patients.
Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen announced Thursday extended hours at the Winnipeg facility’s diagnostic imaging outpatient centre (DIOC) should allow for an extra 4,766 computerized tomography scans per year.
The province kicked in $94,000 to fund the changes, which will see the same amount of staff — two technologists and one support member — work on a new schedule rotation meant to accommodate more patients.
The DIOC will now be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. It will have the capacity to provide walk-in CT scans to patients with non-urgent health conditions for the first time in Manitoba’s history.
Tammy Carriere, manager of diagnostic imaging at the Misericordia, said the centre has the capacity to start with seven walk-ins per day.
"We launched on April 1, and we’ve been seeing around one to two walk-in patients per day since that launch," she told reporters.
"So, if we were to get to a (high) volume point, we’d certainly be able to offer the patients other options if they chose not to stay and wait for a scan to be performed that day," she said, noting appointments could be made for a later date.
Friesen said the new schedule will help cut wait times for CT scans, which Carriere said are typically around four to five weeks.
"It reflects the fact that people are working... they have children to care for, in some cases if they’re elderly, they may need rides. Some come from outside Winnipeg to seek these services. And so this is going to have, I believe, a demonstrable effect on our system," he said.
The walk-in CT scans are available for patients with non-urgent conditions that don’t require use of IVs, who are referred by doctors to the outpatient centre.
Jessica Botelho-Urbanski covers the Manitoba Legislature for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Updated on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 10:43 PM CDT: Adds photo