Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Time for Private MRIs in Saskatchewan

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I’ve invested a great deal of time and money into my health. I try to buy more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. I workout with a personal trainer at a local gym to keep my weight down and my body toned. My goal is to stay as healthy as possible and I’m willing to make sacrifices to reach this goal because it’s not only important to me but to my family as well. What happens to my investment if I don’t have timely access to high quality medical services?

The Premier of Saskatchewan is asking residents whether or not it’s time to allow private MRIs in our province. The Minister of Health says more discussion is needed before the government makes a decision. Why do Saskatchewan politicians readily encourage people to invest in their health, yet waiver when it comes to the freedom to buy their own medical services? All Saskatchewanians, regardless of material wealth, should be free to represent and pursue their own medical interests.

This newspaper headline is almost 20 years old and yet it still rings true today – Long waiting lists forcing patients out of province for scans: doctor – Saskatoon Star Phoenix, December2, 1997. I’ve travelled outside the province for timely access to a MRI. I’ve also joined family members on trips to a facility in Edmonton, Alberta that provides diagnostic imaging services to professional sports teams. If this facility is the provider of choice for the Edmonton Eskimos and the Edmonton Oilers then it can be a provider of choice for my family too!

If the Saskatchewan government is sincere in its desire for a patient-centered health care system then it’s time to foster a competitive and innovative health care sector whose foundation rests on the medical freedom of its patients and doctors. Yes, it’s time to allow us the freedom to spend our own money on our own MRIs in Saskatchewan.

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