PEI reduces wait times for mammograms
Health PEI announced that improvements made to the Provincial Breast
Screening Program have reduced wait times to a couple of weeks, down
from a 12-month wait. “Government remains committed to improving
healthcare services for Islanders,” said Health and Wellness Minister
“I am very pleased with the progress that has been made with the
Provincial Breast Screening Program and the positive impact this will
have on the health of Island women,” said Bertram.
“Many steps were taken and areas addressed in order to properly and
effectively reduce wait times for routine breast screening
appointments,” said Keith Dewar, Health PEI CEO. “We take access to
healthcare services very seriously and are committed to resolving wait
times through hard work and strategic planning. In this case, the result
is that women can book a breast screening appointment that is a couple
weeks from now and not months or a year from now. This is a significant
achievement to a healthcare service that impacts all Islanders.”
Improvements to the provincial breast screening program included the
installation of three new digital mammography units last year - two at
the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and one at Prince County Hospital (PCH).
The program also hired additional staff, secured a radiologist, and
implemented a new centralized phone number and booking system last fall.
Finally, hours of service at both the QEH and PCH breast screening sites
were expanded to include evenings and weekends.
“While there are no defined national benchmarks for breast screening
wait times, many regions offer a wait time that is within several weeks.
We have been able to reduce our wait times so that they are well within
other jurisdictions,” said Jamie MacDonald, Director of Diagnostic
Imaging for Health PEI. “With improved access to breast screening
services and capacity to offer more appointments, the next step is to
educate and increase the percentage of Island women that get screened
Island women between the ages of 40 and 75 are eligible for a mammogram.
A physician’s referral is not required to make a breast screening
“Education and early detection are the best defences against breast
cancer,” added Minister Bertram. “I encourage Island women to get
Picture: Premier Robert Ghiz (far right) and Health and Wellness Minister Carolyn
Bertram (far left) toured the breast screening site at Prince Country Hospital (PCH)
with Jamie MacDonald (left), Director of Diagnostic Imaging for Health
PEI, and Heather Bulger (right), Supervisor of Breast Imaging at the PCH
Posted October 7, 2010