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Archive => Archives => Topic started by: jw on October 14, 2005, 09:31:03 am

Title: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: jw on October 14, 2005, 09:31:03 am
I just found some statistics on MRI WAIT TIMES for Ontario, Canada.  The full information is at:

The report covers 2003-2004 period.  The median wait for an MRI in Ontario during this period was 22 weeks.
The best time was "South-East" covering Belleville to Ottawa and it was 3 weeks.   My area is 9 weeks.  Toronto has a
7 week wait.  The worst is North-West with 52 weeks.

The wait time should be less now, but that's still a LONG time!

I gather that waiting times in the US are generally much shorter than they are here in the GWN! (Great White North)

Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: lthompson on October 14, 2005, 11:53:52 am
That wait time is "insane".  Why does it take so long to schedule an MRI in Canada?  My insurance company and I believe most insurance companies in the US now require an authorization number given by your insurance company to have an MRI.  My experience has been usually 3 to 5 business days from the time my doctor requests the MRI to actually receiving the authorization number from my insurance company to have the MRI.  It only takes that long because the insurance company requests new documentation from my doctor about why he is requesting this MRI even though it is told to them that is my yearly MRI to follow up on the status of my AN.  Honestly, I don't think it should even take that long.  Also the facility I always use allows you to make an appointment to have an MRI without having the number yet.  This is important because some facilities do not even allow to make the appointment until you actually give them the authorization number.  Thankfully mine does not.  I can usually get an appointment in a couple of days and if it was a real emergency I am positive I could actually go that day or the latest the next day.  The report is generated within 24 hours and is available to be picked up after that.  I couldn't even imagine having to wait that long.  It really is a shame.   
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: wanderer on October 14, 2005, 06:28:27 pm
Welcome to socialized medicine.

Medicine may be expensive in the US but you can access the latest and greatest as long as you have money or insurance.     That is not the case in the rest of the world.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: jw on October 14, 2005, 07:36:09 pm
Welcome to socialized medicine

Quite so.  There are positive aspects of each.  On your side, you have rapid access to medical treatment.  However, on my side, I don't have to deal with insurance companies.  If I were to need surgery, the entire cost of everthing is covered under the government medical plan.  Tests, treatment, hospital stay, etc.  You never see a bill so you never know what it costs.  And, the homeless person found on the street doesn't have to worry about medical coverage, either.  If you are unemployed, you don't have to worry about medical insurance, and no matter what hospital you go in to, you're covered.  We have a health card that's better than any credit card!

But, each side has positive aspects and negative aspects.  I like our health care system because I am familiar with it.  I realize the problems, though, and the long wait for treatment is a very real problem.  Funding for hospitals has been cut, services are reduced and there's not a lot you can do about that.  With your plan, you have more say into what goes on.  Neither one is perfect, each one is better and worse in different areas.

Perhaps it's also a "Canadian" thing.  We're more likely to say "Well, glad my MRI wait time is only 3 weeks.  It could have been 52!", rather than get that 3-week wait down to same-day testing.  We're wussy up here!  I think it's the snow.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: calimama on March 05, 2008, 07:47:20 am
I had MRI about 2.5 weeks after I met with the ENT. Both in Toronto (TWH and PMH). i could have had sooner, but it would have been at 12:45am and we had guests in town that night (and i have 1 year old baby). I was told i had to book apt between 11Pm-7am. This is tough with a babe, but totally doable. Sorry to hear of others having to wait so long. Obviously my MRI results were bad! (2.5x2.9). Meeting with surgeon in early April (this seems like a long wait ...6weeks... following such a diagnosis). Will also check out GK at TWH. I am leaning towards the latter. I am 39.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: yardtick on March 05, 2008, 07:12:00 pm
MRI wait times have improved drastically here in Ont.  Now of course I'm talking large city centres.  I remember a few years ago there was only one MRI machine in my city.  Now every hopsital has one and the machines run 24 hrs a day.  Things are improving.  My wait times have been 4 weeks for my 1st MRI, 6 days for a call back and 5 days when I realized I had gone past the six month wait period. 
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: ferrone on March 05, 2008, 08:01:19 pm
Has anyone used Dr. Chang from Sunnybrooke Hospital? Newly diagnosed.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Denisex2boys on March 05, 2008, 08:38:18 pm
My ENT was totally on top of my symptoms pre-diagnosis and he 'rushed' the MRI - it was within 3 weeks - I do truly feel that if something is suspected they change the 'pecking order' - our local MRI runs 24/7 and they have multiple machines now.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Denisex2boys on March 05, 2008, 08:41:56 pm
.... just wanted to add .... I LOVE 'socialized' medicine .......  I have many US friends and it is ridiculous that some of them cannot get the assistance they need because of lack of insurance - I have one friend in the US that has even bypassed having a simple bloodtest to RULE out a rare hereditary cancer in her family - should she carry the gene - she cannot even opt to change jobs should she want to as it would be a 'pre-existing' condition - that may or may not come to fruitation.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Jim Scott on May 01, 2008, 01:31:32 pm
I'm not absolutely sure of the 'MRI wait time' for my neck of the woods (Connecticut) because my doctor always makes my MRI appointments in advance.  I believe 5 to 7 days is average and, in one instance, I was 'squeezed in' the same day my doctor requested an MRI, so it can't be too bad. 

The downside to 'socialized medicine' (government controlled) is that it inevitably stretches resources thin and removes some incentives that the free market encourages.  Yes, 'everyone is covered' and never have to pay 'out-of-pocket' expenses but instead of high insurance premiums, everyone pays higher taxes for that coverage.  Not much advantage there.  To me, the lack of choice is a stumbling block for socialized medicine.  Americans are used to having choices and certainly wouldn't like long waits for tests and dealing with overstressed doctors and medical personnel.   Most American hospitals will treat anyone who presents with an injury or is clearly in some medical distress.  They pass on the expense to insurance companies in the form of higher charges.  Federal and state governments also pay a lot of medical bills now, via state health care programs for children, the elderly and the indigent.  Charities also do their share but don't ask for or receive much credit.  I believe that having government bureaucrats, in effect, running the U.S. health care system would be a disaster.  Although Canada has had some success with this kind of system and some Canadians clearly like it, some do not.  The fact that Canadians sometimes come to the United States for specialized care doesn't speak well of Canada's health care system.  Few Americans ever feel the need to travel to another country for even specialized medical needs.  Canada may have a similar family income as the U.S. but with only 10% of the U.S. population, I don't believe one can make a fair comparison of the two health care systems.   

A few years ago my wife and I tried to help a young woman in our church who had mental problems and needed help, but had no money.  We were able to have her admitted to a local hospital for no charge under a state program.  Her medicines were also heavily discounted by a similar program.  She received counseling for free, too.  There is a lot of help out there but people have to be willing to look for it - and not be too proud to accept it.  Even working, middle class folks, who usually don't qualify for government health care programs, can find some assistance.  Many hospitals have funds allocated to aid the 'working poor'....those who don't qualify for government programs but are financially unable to pay a big hospital bill.  At the least, most hospitals and doctors offices will accept monthly payments on a bill.  I know, I've done it - on bills in the thousands.  I was fortunate to be able to find the funds to pay these bills off far ahead of time but the entities involved were initially quite willing to accept $50. a month for as long as it took, as long as I paid it faithfully.  Oh, and they usually don't charge interest on the debt.  The 'secret' is to simply ask the hospital, doctor's office, whatever for a 'payment plan' and only agree to pay as much as you can reasonably afford each month so as not to become overextended.  No need to go bankrupt.

No one will argue that the U.S. health care system has flaws and some folks have real problems with it at times, but no system serving 300 million + people can be flawless.  Judging by how federal and state governments usually waste our tax money, I'm not enthusiastic about any government bureaucracy controlling our health care under the oh-so beguiling promise that 'everyone will be covered'.   My question is: yes, but how well 'covered'?  I prefer not to find out the hard way, so I'll say 'no thanks' to 'socialized medicine', as will many other Americans who don't wish to trade some inconvenience for greater problems when dealing with the health care system.  However, my opinion is just that, my opinion, nothing more.   

For those who don't know (I've posted this information before) I'm covered under my wife's medical benefits policy with her employer.  She is on long-term disability status with her employer but still an employee (legally) receiving disability pay via a private plan she took out years ago.  As such, she qualifies for medical benefits, which we partly pay for.  As her spouse, I'm covered too until she reaches 65, which is a decade away.  I'm not on Medicare or any government health care program. 


Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Keeping Up on December 30, 2008, 11:44:34 am
I realize this is an old thread (didn't realize stuff got moved) ...

My MRI was 8 days after my doctor suggested it to me (so maybe less depending when it actually was requested).  It wasn't at a great hour - 11pm - but that is OK with me.  My next one in May is at 6:30am.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Funnydream on July 30, 2010, 02:28:53 pm
In Fort Worth Texas. I picked up the phone book and started calling everyone that does MRI. Price ranged from $450 to $745. I ended up with a $700 cuz the doctor said a newer machine would have better images. Even though they are all 1.5Tesla. Everyone said they could get me the very next day. When I showed up I asked how old the machine was. She said 3-4 years. I was like. Oh boy, just spent too much.
Title: Re: MRI Wait times: Ontario, Canada.
Post by: Brendalu on July 31, 2010, 10:11:34 am
My MRI and then MRI with contrast was done the day after my doctor decided I needed one.  The contrast was done the day after the first.  Cost to me...$0.  No wait time at all.  Results were read immediately.