Niagara MPP calling on Ford to address 'MRI crisis'


A Niagara politician is calling for action on what he calls an 'MRI crisis' in the region.

NDP Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates has called on Premier Doug Ford to immediately provide Niagara Health with the necessary operating funding to clear the growing MRI backlog during question period today.

“Today in Niagara, only six per cent of Niagara residents have received their MRI within the provincial benchmark of 28 days, compared to 46 per cent of Ontario residents who have their scan within that time,” said Gates. “The current wait time for an MRI in Niagara is 255 days, well above the provincial average of 141 days. Will you provide the necessary funding to ensure residents of Niagara have fair access to MRI scans - yes or no?”

Back in 2017, Gates introduced a motion calling the province to increase operating funding, decrease wait times for MRIs and address the growing backlog for diagnostic imaging in Niagara.

That motion was approved and funding was granted to reduce wait times, but Gates says the Ford government has allowed diagnostic scan wait times to increase in Niagara again above the provincial average.

There are 5,000 Niagara residents today waiting for an MRI,” said Gates. “These scans could be the difference of life or death and people are sitting at home in stress waiting 255 days to get scans they need.”
“Will you confirm for the residents of Niagara, here today, that you will be delivering the money needed to clear this backlog and ensure that no resident in Niagara has to wait 255 days for a scan they medically need?” Gates asked.