CAR asks feds to invest $1.1 billion in DI
September 18, 2019
OTTAWA – The Canadian Association of Radiologists has increased the size of the investment it’s asking the federal government to invest in diagnostic imaging modalities to $1.1 billion over the next five years, up from the $625 million it requested in its pre-budget submission last year.
As the CAR notes on its website, “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.”
On August 2, the CAR submitted its brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of its pre-budget consultation process. The report is intended to inform and influence the federal government as it prepares its budget and considers its spending priorities – regardless of who wins the federal election in October.
The CAR recommends:
- $1.1 billion over the next five years, as part of the federal transfer to the provinces, to ensure imaging equipment meets the quality standards that patients deserve, inclusive of our seniors and indigenous communities.
- $9 million over three years to fund projects to implement clinical decision support tools for imaging referrals.
- $10.5 million over three years to establish federal frameworks to regulate the implementation of AI tools in radiology and healthcare.
- Revise the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Care Breast Imaging Guidelines, lowering the breast imaging screening age to 40 years of age.
As the CAR’s budget submission states, “Despite the demonstrated need and strain on the system, radiology has not received targeted investment from the federal government to address the equipment gap in over a decade.”
How do these recommendations compare with the “asks” made a year earlier, in 2018?
At that time, the CAR recommended:
- Invest $625 million over five years, as part of the federal transfer to the provinces, to ensure that available imaging equipment meets the quality standards that patients deserve inclusive of our seniors and indigenous communities
- Invest $3 million in 2019 for medical imaging equipment in Northern communities to help eradicate tuberculosis
- Invest $9 million over three years to fund projects to implement clinical decision support tools for imaging referrals
- Invest $10.5 million over three years through the Strategic Innovation Fund, sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to begin establishing federal frameworks to regulate the implementation of AI tools in medicine and healthcare.
“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 with senior civil servants. We will continue to be the national voice of radiologists in Canada and bring our patients’ concerns forward,” said Dr. Mike Barry (pictured), president, CAR.
The 2020 pre-budget submission is available on car.ca.