February 19, 2020

Community-Based Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Services Expanding In Saskatoon

Thousands of Patients to Benefit from Improved Access

Residents in central and northern Saskatchewan will soon have improved access to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has awarded a contract to Mayfair Diagnostics to deliver publicly-funded, community-based MRI services in Saskatoon and to continue providing MRI services in Regina.

“Improving access to advanced medical imaging to Saskatchewan residents, including MRI, is a priority for our government,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “Expanding community-based MRI services to Saskatoon will benefit thousands of additional patients in central and northern Saskatchewan each year and help meet the growing demand for MRI exams across the province.”

Mayfair Diagnostics will provide a minimum of 4,500 exams per year in Saskatoon.  Services are expected to begin in Saskatoon in August 2020.

“Being able to expand our partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to provide community-based MRI services within Saskatoon is a great opportunity,” Mayfair Diagnostics Executive Chair Dr. Shamir Patel said.  “We are pleased to continue serving Regina patients with the extension of the contract there, and look forward to working with the Saskatoon health care community to support new neighbours and colleagues in Saskatoon.”

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority has worked closely with the Ministry of Health on the expansion of the community-based MRI program with the shared goal of improving access to diagnostic services for Saskatchewan patients,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Physician Executive Provincial Programs Dr. Paul Babyn said.  “Community-based MRI services have been provided in Regina since 2014 by third party providers, and we are pleased to see these services expanded to Saskatoon.”

Saskatchewan has seen a growing number of patients referred for MRI in recent years, from approximately 39,000 patients in 2016 to 46,000 patients in 2019.  To help address increasing demand and wait times, the province has invested in adding capacity and expanded hours of operation for MRI services in Regina and Saskatoon.

In 2019-20, the Saskatchewan Health Authority budgeted approximately $141.4 million for medical imaging services, a 68 per cent increase since 2007.  The 2019-20 budget also includes $2.4 million for medical imaging equipment replacement.