Investment by a group of physicians in ultrasound imaging equipment at an Aberdeen clinic has dramatically dropped the waiting list for testing.
Dr. Grant Delbegio, a family physician and one of the partners in Aberdeen Ultrasound & X-Ray, said Tuesday the waiting list for non-urgent ultrasound testing at Royal Inland Hospital stretched to nine months in June last year. That's when the longstanding x-ray clinic added four ultrasound units to its services.
Today the wait at the Aberdeen clinic is one week.
"We're starting to get some (patients) from other communities," Delbegio said. "Some people were going to Vernon and Kelowna before."
Ultrasound is used in imaging for gall bladder and thyroid disease, for example. It is also used for pelvic imaging and in pregnancies.
Delbegio estimated the investment, which including moving the clinic to a larger office on the second floor of the mall, was in the range of $750,000.
"It's certainly not a money-maker. (But) the community really needed it."
There are also four ultrasound imaging units at Royal Inland Hospital.
While the Aberdeen clinic is private, costs are covered by the provincial medical services plan.
A spokeswoman for Interior Health Authority confirmed the waiting list at RIH has been cut to six weeks, down from a year in summer 2010.
Delbegio expects the waiting list at the Aberdeen clinic will lengthen from today's one week to less than a month or so.
"We're just going through a quieter stretch."