Over 9,000 patients are waiting for an MRI scan at Mater Dei, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Wednesday.

A total 246 of them are on the waiting list for an MRI with anesthesia and 8,941 are waiting for one that does not require this.

Fearne gave the figures in reply to parliamentary questions by PN MP Ian Vassallo on Monday and Wednesday.

Fearne said the hospital receives a weekly average of 895 MRI referrals.

"The information excludes urgent scans as these are done as soon as possible," he said.

Meanwhile, figures also show that 4,461 patients are waiting for a CT scan and 417 have been waiting for cataract surgery for longer than the time frame stated in the patient charter.

The charter is a set of patient rights and responsibilities and includes specific time frames within which people should receive treatment.

It says that in non-urgent cases, care or intervention must be initiated within 18 months for a condition that is unlikely to deteriorate quickly and that does not have the immediate potential to become an emergency.

Fearne said 991 people have been waiting for a total knee replacement and 72 for a partial one for longer than the time frame stipulated in the charter.

Another 180 patients have been waiting for a hip replacement for a period that exceeds that allowed in the charter.

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