Today, Saskatchewan NDP Health critic Vicki Mowat introduced a bill to repeal the province’s private MRI legislation and focus on getting all patients the care they need, not just those who can pay to jump the queue.

“Saskatchewan people facing serious health challenges shouldn’t be left waiting longer while those who can afford to pay get moved to the front of the line,” said Mowat. “Wait times for MRIs were already ballooning before the pandemic. It got so bad the Sask. Party stopped even reporting wait times last June. It’s time we end this failed experiment with two-tier healthcare and get to work clearing the backlog as quickly and fairly as possible.”

Mowat called on the government to expedite passage of the bill this session, given the urgency of the matter.

“If you need an MRI, you shouldn’t have to wait longer because you can’t afford to pay more to cut in line,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “But even for those who can afford to pay, this experiment is a failure. Everyone is waiting longer under this failed experiment that violates the Canada Health Act — it’s time we bring it to an end.”

The NDP bill includes a transitional provision whereby anyone with a private MRI scheduled would be able to go ahead with the appointment.