'People are going to die': Edmonton doctor concerned with long scan wait times
EDMONTON -- Some patients in Edmonton are waiting more than a year to get MRIs and CT scans — wait times a local doctor says are unacceptable.
The standard wait times for scans, set by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health, is 30 days.
The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association (EZMSA) says the current wait time for an MRI at the University of Alberta Hospital is 375 days, and the average wait time for a CT scan at the Leduc Community Hospital is 275 days.
Dr. Ernst Schuster, EZMSA's president and a family physician, is concerned about the long wait times his patients are facing for diagnostic cancer tests.
"The whole goal is to really say this can't go on like this," Schuster said, "because people are going to die."
Schuster also said some patients are being forced to pay hundreds of dollars for private scans.
NDL MLA David Shepherd says the increasing wait times are a "failure of the minister of health."
The health minister, Tyler Shandro, denied Albertans are having to pay out of their own pocket, but did acknowledge wait times are up.
"That does concern me," Shandro said.
"I think there should be changes even in just a couple of days in the wait times."
EZMSA will work the province to reduce wait times in the next six months.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Bill Fortier