With the upcoming provincial election, we need to turn our attention to local health care. An area of improvement is access to MRI scans.
Presently Trail hospital receives the mobile MRI from Penticton for one week out of each month. Wait times are nine to 12 months. This is unacceptable.
Cranbrook is slated for a new MRI unit for 2018 and Penticton will receive one in 2019. The health ministry hopes that once these units are in operation it will free up the mobile MRI for more visits to Trail. Construction dates for these units are tentative and population increase in three or four years will further delay access.
MRIs are critical in diagnosing and initiating treatment for a variety of conditions. The most vulnerable are cancer and stroke victims, and children.
This spring, look for a candidate who will push for a new MRI unit for the West Kootenay area. Our families’ health depends on it.