Where the money should go

When undergoing an MRI scan, you’re asked to change into a prerequisite hospital smock before the procedure. A sign in the change room asks you to bring your valuables with you to protect them from theft. But it really doesn’t do much good if you’re trying to protect your money from VANOC because they always have access to your wallet. That’s why it took many, many months to have your MRI scan in the first place.

As reported previously on this blog, various public sectors have spent over $3 million for top-quality Olympic tickets, the city of Vancouver recently spent close to a million bucks on dorky banners and over a billion bucks on the Olympic village. We’re all aware of the ongoing waste, the inconvenience, the upheaval, the non-refundable costs to struggling and failing small businesses that are being strong-armed by VANOC, and all the other crap that’s been reported during the last few years due to the upcoming Olympic party. And it makes me sick.

The point was made exceedingly clear by the recent purchase of a new, oversized MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) unit at Richmond Hospital. The $2.5-million equipment — funded by donors through a large fundraising campaign — is the only MRI in B.C. capable of imaging larger patients (up to 550 pounds) and claustrophobic patients. But not only is this the only MRI of its kind in the province, it’s also Richmond’s first MRI machine so up to that point, patients were sent to Vancouver for scans.

The funding for the purchase of this machine has been an ongoing project since 1994 and has only been realized in the past month! And for what? A measly $2.5 million which amounts to chump-change for VANOC. Those clowns spend more money entertaining business and political leeches and on other superfluous, wasteful crap in a day than you and I will spend in a lifetime. But funding for something as exceedingly important as an MRI unit required years of fund raising. And to say nothing of the lives this type of equipment can save, significantly more than a bunch of Olympic event tickets. Do me a favor…if there’s a chance I may have a brain tumor, give me an MRI scan over an over-priced Olympic ticket. And wait until you are diagnosed with a suspicious lump somewhere in your body. Only then will you appreciate the availability of the medical equipment that may save your life rather than a shrimp plate for a visiting dignitary.

So what’s the future of the new Richmond MRI? It’s capable of performing up to 5,000 MRI’s a year but only with increased funding so will offer 1,400 to 1,500 scans until the required funding is realized. Meanwhile the Olympic party will continue and the money will flow through the streets of Vancouver, Whistler and Richmond but nowhere near the new MRI and patients will continue to wait or travel to Vancouver for their MRI scans.

The wasteful spending and blatant theft of taxpayer’s money to fund this over-hyped event will haunt this province for many years to come but the fact that it impacts the health and lives of untold residents is at travesty. Gee…I wonder if the funding would be available for Richmond Hospital if MRI scanning was a winter Olympic event?

  1 Comment

  1. Easter Island   •  

    I agree completely with your perspective on the allocation of funds. We have been taken. Not that we had a choice. We rely on our elected officials to protect us from these kinds of scams, not to collude with the perpetrators. I guess that is what we would call corruption if it were taking place in a foreign country.
    Thank you for speaking out on this issue. As we have seen, it comes with considerable risks.

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