As we gear up for the 2019 federal election (October 21), the CAR has been working on our advocacy strategy for medical imaging in Canada. Our members know that investments in medical imaging capital equipment have been lacklustre over the last few years. In 2018, there were only 12 new CTs added across the entire country, the lowest it’s been in 20 years. The CAR commissioned Nanos Research to conduct a national survey to measure the Canadian perspective of radiologists and identify priorities for medical imaging. Nanos interviewed people from across the country. The survey revealed that not only do Canadians appreciate and understand what radiologists do but they also believe that governments need to invest in radiology.
This poll helped to inform our advocacy work in 2018 and we continue to rely on this information to aid the CAR leadership in identifying priorities for healthcare. Our 2020 pre-budget submission was finalized early August 2019. The focus remains on medical imaging equipment and the need for government to invest in a national fund to ensure Canadians have better access to these lifesaving procedures. Our 2020 submission is reflective of this ask and includes the following priorities:
- $1.1 billion over the next five years as part of the federal transfer to the provinces, ensuring imaging equipment meets the quality standards that patients deserve.
- $9 million over three years to fund projects implementing clinical decision support tools for imaging referrals.
- $10.5 million over three years establishing federal frameworks to regulate the implementation of AI tools in radiology and healthcare.
- Revising the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Care Breast Imaging Guidelines; lowering the breast imaging screening age to 40.
The key message from the report is the federal investment in medical imaging technology will yield a stronger, more sustainable and efficient healthcare system.
““The CAR’s advocacy is based on feedback from our members and is informed by numerous meetings on Parliament Hill, in MP constituent offices as well as senior civil servants. We will continue to be the national voice of radiologists in Canada and bring our patients’ concerns forward.” – Dr. Mike Barry, President, CAR
The 2020 pre-budget submission is available on car.ca.