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Alberta

Province boosts funding to add almost 100,000 CT scans and MRI’s over the next year

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From the Province of Alberta

Improving access to MRIs and CT scans

A $33-million one-time commitment from Budget 2021 will drive down wait times for Albertans needing non-emergency CT scans and MRIs in public hospitals and spark innovation to provide the best patient care.

The commitment will support AHS to perform up to 50,000 additional CT (computerized tomography) scans and up to 45,000 additional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans throughout the province in 2021-22.

This work is part of an aggressive action plan developed by Alberta’s government and AHS to reduce wait times to ensure that by 2023, all Albertans have their CT scans and MRIs done within appropriate wait times recommended by medical experts.

“Albertans need better results from our health-care system, including from MRIs and CT scans that can diagnose their health condition and set them on the path to recovery. This commitment is part of Alberta’s historic investment in health care. We will ensure that all health dollars are spent wisely to support patients and families.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Physicians have raised the alarm that long waits put patients at risk – and we couldn’t agree more. Reducing wait times for these medically necessary diagnostic tests is not negotiable. This is why I directed AHS to implement this action plan and to work in partnership with radiologists to find innovative solutions to provide the best patient care with the significant dollars dedicated to this work.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

The additional $33 million will augment the $1 billion Alberta spends each year on diagnostic imaging. This total spend includes ultrasounds, X-rays and mammography, as well as MRIs and CT scans for Albertans.

So far, AHS and its contracted radiologists’ focused work on the action plan has meant fewer people are waiting for CT and MRI scans now compared with March 2020, a trend that will continue over the next two years.

“AHS understands how important it is for patients to receive timely access to diagnostic testing and quick turnaround of results. We are listening to all concerns and are proactively working to improve this very important service for Albertans.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“Timely access to diagnostic imaging including CT and MRI is an essential component of quality patient care. Imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of many medical conditions. Improved access to imaging should lead to improved care.”

Dr. Derek Emery, professor and chair, Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging, University of Alberta and Zone Clinical Department Head, Diagnostic Imaging, Alberta Health Services

“Alberta’s Radiologists welcome this initiative to decrease waitlists for CT and MRI, two critical tools in the overall function of our health-care system. Timely access to all medical imaging and image-guided procedures is so important, now more than ever.”

Dr. Robert Davies, president, Alberta Medical Association Section of Diagnostic Imaging

Alberta Health and AHS developed the CT and MRI Action Plan to address increasingly long wait times, which peaked in 2019-20, and to decrease costs, better manage demand to reduce unnecessary tests, and to make sure the people who most need the tests for treatment decisions will get the scans sooner. The implementation plan uses data to more accurately estimate where demand pressures may occur so that resources can be deployed to respond efficiently.

AHS will reinvest any cost savings achieved through the plan to where they are most needed.

Budget 2021 protects lives and livelihoods with a historic investment in health care while laying the foundation for economic growth. Through the prudent management of tax dollars, Alberta’s government can continue to invest in priority areas to ensure Alberta emerges from COVID-19 stronger than ever.

Quick facts

  • Demand for CT scans in Alberta is increasing by five per cent annually, and for MRIs by 3.5 per cent annually.
  • If a patient is in an emergency department and needs an urgent scan, they are able to get one quickly. If a patient is in hospital, they are able to get a scan within 24 hours.
  • While wait times for patients in hospital or emergency departments are stable and within time frames recommended by medical experts, wait times for outpatients referred for a CT or MRI scan are longer than recommended.
  • As of December 2020:
    • 44,341 Albertans were waiting for a CT scan, down from 60,181 Albertans waiting in March 2020.
      • 79 per cent of urgent out-patients were able to get their CT scans within clinically appropriate wait times.
      • 41 per cent of routine out-patients were able to get their CT scans within clinically appropriate wait times.
    • 59,614 Albertans were waiting for an MRI, down from 66,183 Albertans waiting in March 2020.
      • 75 per cent of urgent out-patients were able to get their MRIs within clinically appropriate wait times.
      • 55 per cent of routine out-patients were able to get their CT scans within clinically appropriate wait times.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

THE HALFTIME REPORT News from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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ASHFM Staff Supporting Their Favourite Alberta Teams

The Battle of Alberta was fantastic. Let’s do this again soon! This is the first time the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames have met during the NHL Playoffs since 1991. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame had a ton of fun creating a number of different ways for Albertans to learn about and participate in the rivalry.

We created a poll where visitors to the museum placed a sticker on our board to indicate which Albertan NHL team they cheer for. Those unable to stop in were encouraged to comment on our social media posts, telling us their team, so we could place the sticker for them. Both teams had over 200 votes, with the total climbing higher each day.

We also highlighted some of our honoured members who have played for, or been associated with either of these teams, such as Wayne Gretzky, Michael Vernon, Glen Sather, and Peter Maher.

Other initiatives include Jersey Day, where visitors who come in on a Battle of Alberta game day wearing a Flames or Oilers jersey get 50% off of their admission into the museum, highlighting iconic BoA moments through Youtube, and more!

This newsletter is sponsored by the RBC Foundation.

Honoured Member in Focus: Wayne Bowes and Bob Daku

Wayne Bowes and Bob Daku began playing racquetball together in 1969, after meeting at the Lethbridge YMCA. They dominated the Canadian Open Men’s Doubles in racquetball from 1974 to 1982. Together, they won nine consecutive national titles.

Besides their national titles, this team won numerous Alberta crowns and competed at the 1974 World Amateur Racquetball Championships.  They won two more titles, in 1984 and 1985, and then retired from competitive racquetball with eleven of thirteen national titles.

For more information about this team, please see their Honoured Member Profile, linked below.

Honoured Member Profile

Provincial Sport Organization: Alberta Racquetball Association

The Alberta Racquetball Association’s vision is to make racquetball accessible to all Albertans and to be a national leader in programming, athlete development, and good governance.Its mission is to facilitate the participation and enjoyment of racquetball through the delivery of programs, access to resources, the development of coaches and officials, and support to clubs and affiliates.

They strive to build a strong future and legacy for racquetball by supporting competitive athletes, fostering lifelong participants and aim to increase involvement and accessibility at all levels through promotion, advocacy, and funding.

 
Artifact in Focus!

The artifact that we are highlighting is a racquetball racquet. The cover is made of faux, brown, leather.

New Billboard

Next time you’re driving down the QEII you will notice the new billboard on our building!  Our new billboard reads “This Hall’s Got Game,” and is visible from Highway 2.

Honoured Member Theo Fleury Visits ASHFM

Honoured Member Theo Fleury stopped by the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame recently to film a promotional video.

To learn more about Theo Fleury, please click on the link to his profile below.

Honoured Member Profile

Leave a legacy

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame needs your support to continue the ongoing preservation of Alberta’s sports history and the development of museum exhibits. We are grateful and appreciative of the generosity of our supporters and friends. We would be happy to assist you in choosing how your personal legacy will be fulfilled and the many options available. Here is some information on donating shares to ASHFM and the benefits to you as a donor.

Donate
Copyright © 2021 The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame
#102 – 4200 Highway 2
Red Deer, AB T4N 1E3
(403) 341- 8614
[email protected]

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Alberta

Aurora Cannabis shares fall 40% after share sale amendment

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EDMONTON — Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s share price fell by about 40 per cent, after the company announced it sold US$150 million worth of shares.

The Edmonton marijuana company’s share price was $3.47 when trading ended Thursday, but by mid-morning Friday, had fallen to $2.07 and closed at $2.14.

The sale of shares was part of an amendment Aurora made to a previously announced bought deal financing.

The amendment made it possible for a syndicate of underwriters led by Canaccord Genuity and BMO Capital Markets to purchase 61.2 million Aurora units for US$2.45 each.

Each unit is comprised of one common share in Aurora and one common share purchase warrant, which can be used to acquire one common share for US$3.20 each in the next 36 months.

Aurora has yet to record a profit and in recent years has been trying to drive revenues by better aligning supply with demand, laying off staff and closing facilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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