Ontario Reducing Wait Times for MRI and CT Scans

Community surgical and diagnostic centres connecting people to faster, more convenient care with their health card

As part of the Your Health plan, the Ontario government is taking the next step to make it easier and faster for people to connect to publicly-funded surgeries and procedures by adding 100,000 more MRI and CT scans at community surgical and diagnostic centres across the province each year.

A call for applications opens today, with new licences expected to be issued starting in Fall 2024 that will connect nearly 100,000 more people to scans each year. This expansion of services will also help to reduce wait times for MRI and CT scans to 28 days in every region of the province from the date the order/requisition was received to the date that people receive their scan, ensuring every person who needs imaging receives it within the medically recommended period of time.

Two additional calls for applications will be launched this summer and fall to also expand the number of community surgical and diagnostic centres that can connect people to GI endoscopy procedures and orthopedic surgeries.

New community surgical and diagnostic centres build on the successes the Ontario government has achieved since the launch of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care including:

  • Achieving the shortest surgical wait times of any province in Canada in 2023, with nearly 80 per cent of people receiving their procedure within clinically recommended target times.
  • Funding up to 65,568 MRI and 31,220 CT operating hours in existing community surgical and diagnostic centres over the past year.
  • Adding 49 new MRI machines in 42 hospitals across the province.
  • Adding four new licensed cataract centres to provide more publicly funded cataract and other eye surgeries. In the past year, the government has funded 32,000 eye surgery procedures at community surgical and diagnostic centres.
  • Eliminating the backlog of cervical cancer screening tests at the end of August 2023. Testing turnaround times returned to the pre-pandemic standard of 10 to 14 days.

As the government significantly expands the number of surgeries being done through community surgical and diagnostic centres, it is ensuring these centres are integrated and linked with the broader public health system. This includes requiring new facilities to provide detailed staffing plans that protect the stability of staffing resources at public hospitals, reporting into the province’s wait times information system and participating in regional central intakes, where available, to ensure people get the surgery they need as quickly as possible. All community surgical and diagnostic centres are now also under the oversight of Accreditation Canada’s new quality assurance program which provides the same strong requirements as public hospitals to improve quality standards at facilities and ensure consistent patient safety and quality care.

Read more: Ontario Reducing Wait Times for MRI and CT Scans | Ontario Newsroom