23 November 2006

Stop it Dalton, you're killin' me

Or to be more precise, killing cancer patients.

In Canada, in fact, no other technology promises cancer patients such inequitable access as PET scanners, and, among provinces that have them, Ontario is the most restrictive of all.
Funny, you don't see anything about this in Dalton McGuinty's health care infomercials on tv. Every time an Ontario hospital does a PET scan, it comes right out of the hospital budget. The drug required to obtain the images costs $1,100 a scan, but the hospital is only reimbursed $725 by the province.
Until recently, the London scanner was screening one patient a week; with the registry, that number has increased to four or five patients a week, said Al Driedger, professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

“I'm sure that even researchers thought by now we'd have people lined out the doors and onto the street and that's just not been possible,” Dr. Driedger said.

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