Long wait times for diagnostic imaging is hurting both patients and the country as a whole, argued Michael Barry, president of the Canadian Association of Radiologists, in a recent opinion piece published by the Journal Pioneer.
Barry cited a report from the Conference Board of Canada published June of this year which found excessive waiting time—more than 30 days—for MRI and CT exams cost the economy $3.54 billion in 2018. And those waits kept more than 380,000 Canadians from working—a loss of $430 million in tax revenue annually.
“We need to ensure that patients and providers have access to more efficient technologies that can better diagnose illness and treat disease,” Barry wrote. “By providing proper access to medical imaging tests, patients can be diagnosed and treated sooner resulting in improved health outcomes, less time off work and substantial cost savings to the economy.”
With a federal election coming up, Barry called on governments across the country to allocate $1.1 billion for medical imaging equipment over five years in order to reduce wait times and improve care.
“We need the federal government’s support to rectify this problem by taking a leadership role in improving the lives of patients,” he told the Journal Pioneer.
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