Lab Canada

Survey charts public views of radiology services in Ontario

Toronto, ON September 23, 2003 – Eighty percent of Ontarians say the use of outdated radiology equipment is a serious problem but only four percent say the government has made a great deal of progress in dealing with the issue, according to a survey released yesterday.

The survey, carried out by Environics Research for the Ontario Association of Radiologists (OAR) as part of the larger Focus Ontario survey, found that there is a significant gap between the high importance Ontarians attach to radiology services and the relatively low marks given to the government for its part in addressing the situation.

Highlights of the survey included:

Equipment: 81% said the use of outdated radiology equipment is a serious problem

Funding: 72% of Ontarians think the government should spend more on radiology services

Among those that want more funding for radiology services:
– 73% say it is very important to replace outdated equipment
– 71% say it is very important to expand radiology services
– 62% say it is very important to increase funding for current services

Access to radiology services:
– 54% are not confident that all patients have equal access to radiology services
– 35% are not confident they are able to get results in a medically appropriate time
– 33% are not confident that they would have timely access to radiology services
– 69% are opposed to being allowed to pay for faster access

Access to radiologists:
– 82% say it is important to have timely access to a radiologist
– 80% say there is a radiologist shortage

Working with radiologist experts:
– 95% say it is important the government work with radiologist experts to determine how federal funding for new diagnostic equipment will be distributed

CT/MRI services:
– 95% believe that entrepreneur-owned clinics should be given the lowest priority for expansion of CT/MRI services and that priority for expansion of CT/MRI services should be in hospitals first and radiologist-owned clinics second

Radiology clinics: 74% say radiology clinics should be owned by radiologists

“Ontarians understand that timely access to radiology services and radiologists is critical to patient care – they also understand that the Ontario government is doing little to nothing to address the long waiting lists in this province,” said Dr Giuseppe Tarulli, OAR president. “This is a loud wake-up call for a government that has been sleeping on the job.”

The Ontario Association of Radiologists is a non-profit professional organization representing 700 radiology physicians who provide medical imaging services in both hospitals and community-based clinics across the province.