BC radiologists plead for ‘urgent action’ as imaging backlogs reach new heights

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Canada’s radiologists are calling for “urgent action” before a growing backlog of patients requiring medical imaging leads to a wave of delayed diagnoses.

In a September 26 letter to Health Minister Adrian Dix, the British Columbia Radiological Society pleaded for the province to step in by providing the resources needed to accommodate the “hundreds of thousands of patients” lining up waiting to be seen. The letter from radiologists follows a separate public call for help from numerous specialists, including cardiologists, orthopaedists, pediatricians and more, just a week ago.

Like much of the world, Canada is struggling with shortages of medical personnel, and the field of radiology in particular lacks both technologists and radiologists. This has led to significant imaging backlogs, forcing patients to delay procedures and pushing overworked healthcare professionals completely off the field due to rising burnout rates. All of this combined has many radiologists worried for patients who continue to be left in limbo.

In the latest letter to Dix, the radiologists point to the ramifications of the growing imaging backlog, stating that “delays in medical imaging lead to delays in diagnoses, specialist referrals, surgeries, medical treatments, cancer care and more”.

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