People in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region are benefiting from improved access to meet their medical imaging needs with the purchase of a private MRI clinic in their community.
Acquired by VCH, the Granville MRI Clinic at 3195 Granville St. opened to patients on June 4, 2021. The clinic is expected to perform about 5,500 MRIs annually.
“Adding the Granville MRI clinic into the health-care system means we can cut wait lists and deliver services for people faster and closer to home, regardless of a person’s ability to pay,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The opening of this clinic will help people experiencing health issues like tumours, sports injuries and brain injuries learn what’s wrong and then move forward with the best possible treatment.”
In April, VCH acquired the MRI scanner and other assets from Canadian Magnetic Imaging Ltd., a private clinic operating at that location that has since closed. Along with the purchase of the medical imaging equipment, VCH made improvements to the 232-square-metre (2,500-square-foot) clinic to provide a safe and welcoming space for clients to receive their MRI exams.
“A new MRI clinic in our community builds on our provinces’ commitment to make sure people get the services they need to live happy, healthy lives,” said George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. “This will be a welcoming and accessible location for people to access necessary MRI services, and supports our commitment to high-quality health care.”
Vivian Eliopoulos, president and chief executive officer, VCH, said: “We are pleased to open the Granville MRI Clinic to provide patients with greater access to MRI services. This new clinic will help address the need for increased access to MRI services in a convenient location.”
The scanner, a Siemens Magnetom Espree 1.5T MRI Open Bore MRI, underwent a thorough assessment prior to acquisition, and will provide robust service for years to come.
Operated by the Lower Mainland Medical Imaging group, a consolidated service of the Provincial Health Services Authority, the clinic is a partnership between VCH and Providence Health Care (PHC). To optimize the operating and staffing model, MRI technologists, radiologists and clerical staff from St. Paul’s Hospital will rotate through the new clinic.
“Not only will this clinic will provide improved access for MRI diagnostics, it will importantly do so in an outpatient setting,” said Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, regional department head, medical imaging, VCH and PHC, St. Paul’s Hospital. “This facility, providing advanced diagnostics, will help deliver needed care and help support our hospital MRIs, which are largely running 24/7.”
This announcement builds on the Province's multi-year Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy to improve access, reduce wait times and leverage capacity in the public health-care system. To date, the strategy has resulted in more than 247,100 exams performed and two suites added in 2020-21, with positive results since its launch and will continue to be built upon in coming years.
MRI is one of the tools used to diagnose certain medical conditions, including abnormalities of the brain, as well as tumours, cysts and soft-tissue injuries in other parts of the body. An early diagnosis can lead to early treatment, which can improve people’s quality of life and return them to being contributing members of their communities and the economy.