“Our wait list for MRI scans has grown to approximately 360 days because of the significant increase in demand and the impact of pausing non-urgent scans during the COVID-19 pandemic.”. “The upgraded technology would enhance the quality of the imaging, shorten the turnaround time for patients to receive results and begin treatment, reduce wait times and eliminate the need for some of our cancer patients to leave the region to access more advanced MRI technology. rights reserved. He is based in Toronto. The science table report also highlights test positivity as an important metric. Niagara Health currently operates two MRI machines, one each at its Niagara Falls and St. Catharines hospitals. Test positivity is currently 1.4 per cent in Hamilton. “It would probably be up to the public health measures (table) to make that recommendation,” he said, referring to another group of experts that advises the government. The founding members of the table felt that “if we do this, we would like to contribute to increasing transparency for the province — meaning that people would would need to be able to know what we are discussing with the administration, with the government,” said Jüni. Niagara Health values our community's views and feedback about our communication efforts related to COVID-19 and other hospital priorities. But he made no commitments about four other regions that have also surpassed a concerning threshold set by the province’s pandemic science advisers. As of January 2020, the average wait time for P4 patients had increased to 135 days,” he said. Niagara Health is entering an era of great opportunity and the inspiration behind this is one, unifying goal: To provide all of our patients, families, staff, physicians, students, learners and volunteers extraordinary experiences. According to the Star’s tally, it has since risen to 50. On Thursday, the table of experts published a detailed report on the evidence behind the new restrictions announced last week for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region. Read more about our COVID-19 Assessment Centres and other important pandemic information here. “MPP Gates has been a strong partner of Niagara Health and advocate for enhanced healthcare in the region,” she said. Your Guide to Emergency & Urgent Care Services, Seeking the community’s feedback on our COVID-19 communication efforts, Join our team! Ford cited York’s rate of 39 cases per week per 100,000 residents when he announced the new restrictions Friday, saying the number was “well, well above the provincial average, and similar to what we’ve seen in our worst hot spots,” in addition to other worrying indicators. “I am in discussions specifically about this with our local municipal leaders as well as” the chief medical officer of health’s office. In 2018, the hospital system submitted a formal request to the ministry for $1.5 million annually in funding, which would cover staffing and other costs to operate the MRI machine 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Halton’s test positivity was not immediately available. We have a solid plan in place and will continue to have a strong presence in our communities. Niagara Health recruiting for positions across our sites. This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. Sexual Health Get information on sexual health centres, birth control and testing Child Vaccination Reporting Report your child's vaccinations online or by phone; For Health Care Professionals Get information on vaccines, infection control, patient resources and more; Identify Ticks in Niagara “To compound matters, the pause in providing non-urgent MRIs due to the pandemic has meant that as of August 20th, the wait list is now 8,652 patients or an average of 360 days. “Our community, through Niagara Health Foundation, has already raised $3.4 million to purchase the unit, and Niagara Health is committed to covering the costs for renovations needed to house a third MRI, which would be located at our St. Catharines site.”, Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. The health ministry cited this figure as well in accounting for the new restrictions in York, noting that the region’s rate of new infections per 100,000 had risen 49 per cent over the week of Oct. 3 to 9. “Only if we all talk together are we able to complete this journey.”. Recognizing this serious issue, the community has even raised the funds itself to purchase the new MRI unit but given the lack of commitment to operational funding, the unit has yet to be purchased or commissioned.”, In the letter, Gates requested Health Minister Christine Elliott “urgently” review Niagara Health’s business case for a third MRI machine and approve funding “for the hours to get this backlog under control.”. Over the same period, Eastern Ontario’s rate rose 143 per cent, Halton’s rose 138 per cent, and Hamilton’s rose 61 per cent. Testing at Niagara Health's COVID-19 Assessment Centres is available by appointment only. Both Jüni and Brown demurred when asked if the relative opacity of the public health measures table was a problem for building trust with the public. All Learn More, Innovation plays a vital role in improving healthcare delivery, patient satisfaction and patient outcomes. Halton’s current rate is 40, Eastern Ontario’s is 41, and Hamilton’s is 34. MRI tests are “increasingly” used more by physicians to diagnose their patients, she added. 1200 Fourth Ave., St. Catharines, ON, L2S OA9. A presentation on the evidence behind Friday’s new public health measures was published online the same day; Thursday’s report, which is also publicly available, is a fuller accounting of that evidence. Information on the COVID-19 pandemic from Niagara Region Public Health. Learn More. Planning for hospital services in Niagara Falls and Welland is moving forward. Follow her on Twitter: Ed Tubb is an assignment editor and a contributor focused on crime and justice for the Star. Guerriero said Niagara Health has seen a “steady” rise in demand for MRI scans in recent years, with the addition of new regional health-care services. The quickest and most efficient way to enter our sites is by filling out the printable or online screening form before your visit. Assessment Centres are prioritizing testing for those most at risk for having COVID-19. We are also extremely proud to be accredited with Exemplary Standing. Gates said in 2016, the legislature unanimously adopted his motion to provide funding to clear Niagara’s MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) backlog. We launched Niagara Health Navigator digital platform, a significant step in revolutionizing the way patients connect to healthcare information and their care providers. “The whole way that we operate as scientists is by putting information out there, right?” said Brown. Premier Doug Ford ordered new public health restrictions in York Region on Friday, citing the area’s high rates of COVID-19 transmission relative to its population. “In contrast, there are eight MRIs in Hamilton to serve the Hamilton area, which has approximately the same population as Niagara,” said Guerriero. In an email statement, Niagara Health president Lynn Guerriero said they “appreciate” Gates raising the issue with Elliott. Follow her on Twitter: @katecallen, Ed Tubb is an assignment editor and a contributor focused on crime and justice for the Star. Beyond the life-saving medical information this can provide, it would alleviate the stress that many residents go through while waiting for the outcome of these tests.”, Gates said he learned Niagara Health reached out to the Ministry of Health “more than once” with the request for operational funding, “but has yet to receive a definitive answer.”. “If you just paint a black and white picture, you’re almost certainly wrong,” said Dr. Peter Jüni, the Science Advisory Table’s scientific director and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at U of T. Both Brown and Jüni highlighted the rate of growth of new cases — the steepness of the curve — as another important indicator to consider when weighing new restrictions in a given region. All Rights Reserved. The membership of the public health measures table has been made public, but the full membership of the health command table, another important advisory body, has not been. We are conducting a survey to gather the community’s feedback in order to understand your communication preferences and identify opportunities to strengthen our methods. To order copies of Witnessing the resiliency of the Niagara Health nursing team has been most inspiring for Tarrah Long during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table reports on emerging evidence to help inform the province’s response to the pandemic. Follow him on Twitter: @edtubb. The health ministry also cited York’s health-care capacity in deciding to implement the new restrictions, noting that hospitalizations in the region have doubled over the past week, and that the number of patients requiring admission to intensive care or needing a ventilator has also jumped. Find out more, We are national leaders in quality and safety, with 19 recognized Leading Practices hospitals across the country can use to improve quality and safety in their organizations. Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. “By all accounts, the indicators are going in the wrong direction,” Ford said Friday.

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