Manitoba may finally be finding ways to overcome our healthcare wait times… one MRI Clinic at a time. This is one step forward when dealing with the feds rein in growth on healthcare spending.

Ottawa gave Saskatchewan a year to develop a case proving its private MRI clinics conform with the Canada Health Act. In 2015 the Saskatchewan government gave people the opportunity to pay for an MRI privately with the promise that the clinic must offer another scan to someone on the public waiting list.

Nivervilles clinic would not work exactly like the Saskatchewan model.  A spokes person for the project told CBC that Niverville Heritage Holdings Inc. is partnering with the town and Niverville Heritage to build it. The company would own the clinic for 25 years charging patients between $1000 and $1300 for an MRI scan. After 25 years, ownership of the building and equipment inside reverts to the town.

Although not everyone agrees with this third-party take on healthcare, it gives more patients that need an MRI the opportunity to get one in time. Manitoba’s auditor general recommended in spring that the current practice of third parties, such as the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB), bumping patients on current MRI wait lists should stop. Niverville’s new diagnostic centre will allow insurers such as WCB a reasonable option to access MRIs outside the public system. This would open up some 2,500 MRI spots at Pan Am clinic immediately, reducing its 29-week wait list.

Goertzen mentions that they have asked communities to be innovative and creative when it comes to healthcare. Niverville is doing just that.

Read another take on Nivervilles semi-private MRI Clinic: CBC News