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Alberta Health Services says more MRI and CT scans are being completed now than before the COVID-19 pandemic and there are shorter wait times for urgent cases.

Alberta Health Services says nearly 20,000 of the scans were performed in the first two weeks of September, compared to an average of 17,000 in 2018 and 2019.

The province says it is spending an extra $11-million this year to reduce wait times for scans, on top of a $33-million increase from last year.

The government says about 62 per cent of urgent MRIs are done within seven days, and that’s a nine per cent increase from 2018 and 2019.

Health Minister Jason Copping says in a release that the increase of scans is a step in the right direction for reducing wait times, but more needs to be done.

The province says there has been a sharp increase in demand for emergency CT scans for COVID-19 patients, and it’s expected to rise again as winter approaches.