Ask the Radiology Expert – Thomas Strain

Ask the Radiology Expert – Thomas Strain

Exciting news about upcoming additional Chronic Pain Management and MRI services for Medicine Hat.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, otherwise known as MRI

Do you know why, there aren’t as many MRI units in the province, as there should be? Why is the waitlist to obtain an MRI so long? Why do Medicine Hat and surrounding residents have to travel to centers outside of the city to obtain one and pay for it out of pocket? Well the answer is, the fee which covers an MRI, performed in an AHS funded facility, such as the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, is not funded by AHC the same as when performed in a Community Clinic, such as BGSA. The AHS funded facilities, in most cases, are running at capacity. After a lot of discussion and investigation, BGSA has decided to go through the process of installing a magnet at the clinic. This process will take another 3-4 months, but our hope is to have MRI up and running by the first quarter of 2015. With recent surveys of our patient base, we discovered many of them would pay for this service out of pocket, especially if it will speed up the process of obtaining treatment and recovery. With that being said though, BGSA plans to do everything in its power to minimize the financial burden patients will incur by having MRI procedures performed at our clinic.

Chronic Pain Management

Unbeknownst to a lot of Medicine Hat residents, a fair number of our friends/neighbors suffer from a debilitating medical condition, chronic pain. The normal every day chores, that most of us take for granted, become a real struggle for these pain sufferers. Due to home or work related injuries and other medical conditions i.e. arthritis, individuals suffer with pain on a daily basis, which cannot be controlled with our everyday pain killers, Tylenol and Advil. Fortunately, for some of our residents, we have pain management physicians/teams in the city that help them out, but unfortunately, sometimes, it is only short term relief. Dr. Gaylord Wardell working out of SanteSurgi and the Neurologists whom work through the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, inject the affected area with pain blocking medications which gives relief for an average amount of time, but then requires repeat injections in time, so they can carry on, what is for them, a normal life. Unfortunately, for these physicians and patients, their wait list is growing every day, so some patients are travelling outside of our area to have these services provided, in order to carry on a decent day to day life. BGSA, in conjunction with the current pain management physicians/teams, are in the process of creating an area at our clinic, where in addition, our Radiologists and staff will perform some of the needed pain management services for our city and surrounding area patients. We know it doesn’t totally solve their medical conditions, but at least it will help them carry on a daily life, that so many of us take for granted.