CAR’s Virtual Day on Parliament Hill -2023
On October 19th the CAR hosted its 8th Annual Day on the Hill. This date was selected to coincide with the CAR Board Meeting in Ottawa. The purpose of the Day on the Hill is to advocate for the advancement of radiology at the national level and to raise awareness of the important role that radiologists play in the healthcare system. This year, the CAR partnered with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) and Sonography Canada to develop recommendations to address the medical imaging crisis in Canada.
The day began with a session focusing on AI and the need for national oversight led by Dr. Jaron Chong, Chair, AI Standing Committee. Nik Nanos from Nanos research also presented newly available data from a public opinion poll. This poll indicated that over 72% of Canadians would support the integration of AI into medical imaging provided there was human oversight included in the interpretation of the imaging. The poll also revealed that nine in ten Canadians value the work that radiologists do.
Throughout the day, your CAR board representatives met with MPs, Senators, and senior political staff to discuss our priorities for improving access to high quality medical imaging care for Canadians. CAR board members represented the association with a high degree of professionalism and ease. We were fortunate to have 18 high touchpoint meetings with parliamentarians from across the country including representatives from the Standing Committees on Health and Finance. We effectively communicated the CAR’s top priorities for medical imaging now and in the future.
All four of the CAR’s priorities resonated well and several politicians agreed to bring these items forward to their leaders and/or councils.
Today is our annual Day on the Hill!
We will be meeting with government officials to advocate for the priorities set out in our2024 Pre-Budget submission. 🔗 https://t.co/7G7nK9dS7k
Follow us here for highlights of our conversations throughout the day! 🧵 pic.twitter.com/6tEdcM50PY
— The Canadian Association of Radiologists (@CARadiologists) October 19, 2023
The CAR’s “asks” for federal government investment focused on the following areas:
- Invest in the hiring and retention of MRTs and sonographers as part of a health human resource strategy to reduce backlogs and improve health services. Canada needs an additional 2,000 MRTs and sonographers in the next three years.
- Take a leadership role in the implementation of Clinical Decision Support systems, to help streamline the imaging referral process and ensure patients receive the right test at the right time.
- Demonstrate leadership in AI through the incorporation of the CAR’s Radiology Artificial Intelligence Validation Network’s (RAIVN) framework to improve the evaluation and regulation of AI in Canada as part of Health Canada’s Medical Devices Directorate regulatory process.
- Guide an investment of $2 billion over three years for radiology equipment.
Parliamentarians understood the crisis in health human resources in radiology and the significant impact of excessively long wait times for medical imaging and that Canadians deserve better. Representatives also responded quite positively to the need to develop a strategy for the implementation of new technologies (AI) to augment the services of radiologists. Some of the MPs offered to champion these initiatives and to write letters to the Ministers of Finance and Health with these requests. We were very pleased with the reception and are optimistic in terms of next steps.