Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

August 18, 2010 14:00 ET

CAMRT Welcomes the Return to Service of the AECL NRU

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) welcomes today's news that Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) has concluded low-power testing on its NRU reactor and that it will resume production of medical isotopes within a few weeks. For the 11,000 members of CAMRT, the news that the reactor is now operating at high power brings long awaited relief for both patients and healthcare professionals who have lived with significant uncertainty in the fifteen months since the NRU shut down was announced. 

CAMRT acknowledges in particular the 1188 medical radiation technologists who work in the discipline of nuclear medicine, and who have, along with other healthcare professionals, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to maintaining the quality of medical imaging and treatment services. Throughout the lengthy global shortage of medical isotopes precipitated by the shutdown of the NRU and other reactors since May 2009 they have been flexible when schedules needed to be changed or extended hours were necessary in order to maximize the use of the scarce isotopes.

CAMRT CEO Charles Shields says that "Our research has indicated that healthcare professionals continued to demonstrate creativity and flexibility in finding solutions that put patients first while maximizing available supplies over a lengthy period of uncertainty, and we are extremely proud of our members' contribution in this effort." CAMRT has continuing concerns about the impact of the shortage on both technologists currently working in this field and those considering this profession. As Shields points out "It has been a discouraging environment both for those considering a career as a nuclear medicine technologist and for those currently in practice. Nuclear medicine education programs are reporting negative impacts on enrollments." 

CAMRT encourages the Canadian government to work with the nuclear medicine community in Canada and abroad, to consider a plan to secure a stable and affordable global supply of isotopes, and in doing so, consider measures that address training needs and other human resource requirements too. As Shields points out "There will continue to be demand for nuclear medicine imaging and treatments, but procedures that utilize isotopes can only be performed if there are technologists to conduct them."

About CAMRT:

Founded in 1942, the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) is a federation of ten provincial associations who share a common membership of over 11,000. CAMRT is the national certifying body for radiological technologists, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists and magnetic resonance technologists and, as such, provides the national entry to practice certification examinations. The CAMRT is also the national professional association that represents and promotes the MRT profession and is an active participant in the Canadian health system. It offers quality professional development programs, advocates on behalf of the MRT profession, publishes the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, conducts an annual conference and develops and promotes statements of professional best practice 

Contact Information

  • Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
    Leacy O'Callaghan-O'Brien
    Director, Advocacy, Communications and Events
    613-234-0012 x 230 or 1-800-463-9729
    lobrien@camrt.ca
    www.camrt.ca