Conservatives promise $1.5 billion for DI
September 25, 2019
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer (pictured) is promising to spend $1.5 billion to buy new medical imaging equipment for facilities across the country. Scheer says a Conservative government would buy MRI and CT machines to replace aging ones, which he says would reduce wait times for those tests.
He cites a Conference Board of Canada report that found there are excessive wait times for those tests, which is costing the economy billions of dollars.
Scheer says with Canada’s aging population, the demand for such exams will only increase. The Conservatives say the investment would give provinces more spending flexibility, with the federal government footing the bill for replacing out-of-date medical imaging equipment.
Scheer is also highlighting his promise to maintain and increase the Canada Health Transfer, which provides long-term healthcare funding to the provinces and territories.
In August, the Canadian Association of Radiologists submitted a pre-budget consultation paper to the government, recommending that at least $1.1 billion be invested in diagnostic imaging equipment. The association said the country’s stock of MR and CT scanners, as well as other modalities, are in many cases outdated.
The obsolete equipment has more frequent downtimes for maintenance, lower throughput rates, and in some cases, poorer medical outcomes, as modern scanners have far greater abilities for diagnosis than older ones.