Ritchie anger at waiting times

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Ulster Unionist Councillor Drew Ritchie has said that patient safety is being placed at risk as it is revealed that waiting times for CT and MRI scans have deteriorated significantly over the last five years.

Cllr. Ritchie said the average number of weeks patients are waiting for either a CT or MRI scan has “deteriorated significantly” over the last five years.

“For instance the average wait for a CT scan has jumped from 4.1 weeks to 7 weeks in Belfast and from 9 weeks to 16 weeks in the Southern Health Trust. The average waiting times also increased in the Northern and South Eastern Trusts, with only the Western Trust area showing any improvement,” Cllr. Ritchie said.

He added: “In addition waiting times for an MRI scan have also sharply increased.

“CT scans in particular are used to identify a number of ailments, including making a cancer diagnosis or assessing the effects of cancer treatment. Cancer in particular is a disease that requires swift response so I am deeply concerned about the impacts of these deteriorating waiting times. It is simply appalling that people are now having to wait for such lengths of time for key diagnostic tests.”