One MHK ‘has a suspicion’ that an increase in private uptake of MRI scans and ultrasounds are due to long NHS waiting lists.

That is according to Douglas North MHK David Ashford who asked how many private MRI scans and ultrasounds have been booked, average wait time and how much money after costs this has generated.

Health and Social Care Minister Lawrie Hooper, said that between April 2022 and March 2023, 372 MRI exams took place, in comparison to 263 from 2020 to 2021. From April to September 30, 2023, 194 have been conducted, with 388 forecasted to take place. It generated £130,267.80 between 2022 and 2023 and is forecasted to generate £108,540.50 this financial year.

Last financial year there were 114 ultrasound examinations, with 149 already taking place from April to September 30, 2023 and 298 forecasted to take place.

This year they have already generated £22,194.50, but is forecasted to generate £44,389. David Ashford said: ‘I have constituents who have been quoted long periods of time on the NHS to have MRI’s and Ultrasound scans yet we have a case where just since April this year there have been 149 ultrasounds undertaken with only a 3.4 day wait and 194 MRI exams with only a 7.45 day average wait. If the forecasts are right for the rest of the year then it means the number of private ultrasound and MRI scans is increasing year on year.

I have a suspicion the reason for this is the long waits for NHS provision and will be exploring the matter further