No, in fact, you cannot. Well, at least not right away, you can’t. Look at the original source for the wait times for imaging in Saskatchewan – you only have to wait 390 days for an MRI to investigate dementia. If it’s a brain or lung tumor they’ll rush you right in – does a month from this Tuesday work for you? Who knows how long it will actually take to get you into the OR once the MRI is performed and interpreted.
Even more enlightening is the map of available MRI facilities in Saskatchewan – there are only 6 for a province of 1 million people spread out over 591,000 square kilometers. Compare that to Texas – with a population of 24 million spread out over 696,000 square kilometers. Here’s a map of private MRI facilities just in the Houston area – which does not even include the large hospital complexes, many of which have multiple MRI units available. And to make the comparison even more uncomfortable for those staunch advocates of rationed health care health insurance reform – let’s look at the MRI facilities for a city of between 250 and 350,000 in one of the poorest states in the US – Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
So, if I need an emergency MRI in Baton Rouge, Louisiana – there are 17 facilities all within a quick ambulance ride of availability. If I live in rural Weyakwin Saskatchewan – well, let’s just say if it’s a real emergency and the outcome will be decided by my access to MRI/emergency medical care – you may want to start notifying the next of kin – 290km and 4.5 hours between me and the closest MRI might be a bit much – especially in February, if you know what I mean.