MONCTON (GNB) – Horizon Health Network and Vitalité Health Network have entered into an agreement that will improve access to MRI services in the Greater Moncton region. The agreement allows for the MRI service at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre to accept transfers of MRI patients from the Moncton Hospital in order to decrease wait lists.

“Your government understands that the availability and delivery of health-care services have a significant impact on the quality of life of the people of our province,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Partnerships such as this MRI sharing agreement between the Moncton Hospital and the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre will allow our province to respond to the growing health-care needs of our population. With this agreement and the additional hours of operation for MRI services, we will reduce wait times for New Brunswickers.”

As well, the provincial government provided an increase in the operational budget allowing the addition of 20 hours of operation on a 1.5T MRI at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre. The 20 hours of operation consists of additional staff and related resources and are shared equally by radiologists from both hospitals. The exams performed within those 20 additional hours are being interpreted equally by the two groups of radiologists. The extra 20 hours are expected to translate to 2,350 more MRIs on an annual basis.

“This new agreement between both health authorities will allow us to greatly improve access to services and also reduce wait lists so that we can excel in health care provided to patients in our communities,” said Johanne Roy, vice-president of clinical services, Vitalité Health Network.

“Horizon Health Network supports this collaborative agreement to improve patient care through decreased wait times,” said Gary Foley, vice-president of professional services, Horizon Health Network. “We are improving our service delivery by providing more timely access to MRI services to our patients.”

“Leveraging expertise and resources in our health-care system through innovative partnerships such as this new MRI sharing agreement will help ensure the sustainability of health care in New Brunswick,” added Gallant. “Maximizing the use and impact of health-care professionals will create new opportunities to realize fully patient- and family-centric care.”

Improving access to MRI services supports initiatives outlined in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework, which focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities.