BC healthcare: radiologists issue warning Pipa News

BC healthcare: radiologists issue warning

A letter from an association of radiologists to the BC health minister warns that the province could see a “tsunami of cancer cases” if a delay in medical imaging is not addressed.

The letter, shared with CTV News Vancouver and dated Sept. 26, states that “hundreds of thousands of patients” are awaiting medical imaging.

“We know that timely access to medical imaging saves lives and helps prevent disease progression,” said the BC Radiological Society’s letter to Adrian Dix.

“Delays in medical imaging cause delays in diagnoses, specialist referrals, surgeries, medical treatments, cancer care and more.”

The letter echoed concerns raised in another message addressed to Dix last week, in which an estimated one million patients are waiting for specialists in the province.

“We see the decline in specialist care firsthand every day and we are exhausted and demoralized; it is soul-destroying not being able to provide the special care BC patients need and deserve,” that letter, signed by more than 200 specialist doctors , it said.

The BC Department of Health acknowledged the letter sent by specialists last week and issued a statement.

“We want to reassure people that we will always meet with doctors if they have concerns or suggestions about how to improve service,” said a spokesperson for CTV News Vancouver.

The statement went on to say that “all doctors, including specialists, have opportunities to address their concerns, through Doctors of BC, who represent them in talks with the government.”

The Association of Radiologists urged Dix to address four key areas, including training more medical imaging technologists, upgrading equipment and reducing breast imaging wait times. It also indicated an urgent need for emergency funding for community imaging clinics, similar to the funding announced last month for primary care providers.

“As with primary care clinics, CICs face rapidly rising costs due to inflation. Several of these clinics are at risk of closing or reducing services due to increased costs,” the letter reads.

“If this were to happen, it would have a catastrophic impact on medical imaging wait times. All those imaging studies would then end up in acute care facilities, which are already overwhelmed.”

The BC Radiological Society is “more than willing to work with (the Minister of Health) to develop specific solutions to outstanding issues,” but said work to address funding issues in CICs “must begin now.”


Featuring files from CTV News Vancouver’s Penny Daflos

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