As the fall season ramps up, advocacy is top of mind for the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR). With parliament returning to session, it is an ideal opportunity for the CAR to resume our efforts in improving access to medical imaging for Canadians. In the last couple of weeks, we have been successful in getting the message out to the public through media coverage. Dr. Ania Kielar, CAR Vice-President spoke to Global News and CFRA 580 Ottawa about the need for a federal investment of $1 billion in new medical imaging equipment and the development of a health human resources strategy that incorporates radiology.
“It is about being heard more, seen more, and better understood. The CAR Board has worked hard to represent the radiology community on the national stage and to demonstrate the significant patient impact due to wait-times for medical imaging. I know firsthand how much stress that this is placing on radiologists and technologists across the country; we need to find a solution so that patients do not continue to suffer due to long wait-times for their radiology imaging.” – Dr. Ania Kielar
The CAR Board of Directors finalized the 2023 Pre-Budget Submission, which is now available on the CAR website and has been submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. The priorities for 2023 include:
- Investing $1 billion over three years for medical imaging (MI) equipment to be distributed to the provinces on a per capita basis. In conjunction, it is imperative that the Government, working with radiology stakeholders, implement a health human resources strategy, specifically hiring more medical radiation technologists (MRTs) and sonographers to help support the increased equipment capacity.
- Support the implementation of a national e-referrals program (clinical decision support) to equip referring health professionals with better access to MI guidelines, ensuring that patients receive the right imaging test at the right time.
- Harness homegrown AI applications for the strategic prioritization of health human resources, technology, and infrastructure for MI in Canada.
While we did have some success earlier this year with the Federal Minister of Health’s announcement of $2 billion in new funding to address the backlogs including diagnostics, we need more. We have been in correspondence with the Minister of Health’s Office and Health Canada and are working to have the additional $4 billion in new funding, that was promised by the Liberal Party of Canada, to be earmarked for new medical imaging equipment, health human resources and the incorporation of national clinical decision support systems. We will also be asking the federal government to take a leadership role in the implementation of new technologies such as AI that will enhance radiology care in Canada. To learn more about the CAR’s advocacy initiatives, visit car.ca or contact [email protected].