Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists

June 17, 2010 10:24 ET

CIHI Survey on Medical Isotope Supply Disruption Provides Valuable Information About Nuclear Medicine Services for Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) - The Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (CAMRT) welcomed the release of survey results from the study, National Survey on Medical Isotopes Supply Disruption, published yesterday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The survey findings corroborate those of a study completed by the CAMRT in October 2009, and provide valuable additional data that will inform planning of nuclear medicine services. The survey confirms that the nuclear medicine community, especially nuclear medicine technologists, continues to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining the quality of diagnostic imaging and treatment services despite the ongoing shortage of medical isotopes.

CAMRT CEO Charles Shields says that "The CIHI survey indicates that healthcare professionals continue to demonstrate creativity and flexibility in finding solutions that put patients first while maximizing available supplies." CIHI statistics on staff management show a moderate to high degree of change in increased weekend work and extended shifts, and overall staff scheduling practices. Not surprisingly, participating institutions also reported decreased staff morale due to the uncertainty and nature of the shortage, and the very stressful environment this uncertainty creates. The CIHI study also provides new information on the economic impact of the ongoing shortage, with 67.6% of participants reporting they are managing but exceeding budget due to vendor surcharges, and 22.5% reporting they are managing with reduced services.

The CIHI findings underscore the CAMRT's concerns about the impact of the shortage on both technologists currently working in this field and those considering this profession. As Shields points out "These statistics show that it is 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 their entering classes. 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 10 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, develops and maintains entry-to-practice competency profiles for each discipline. These profiles are used by education institutions to develop education programs for the field and by the CAMRT to develop 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 and for the provision of quality medical imaging and radiation therapy services to Canadians, publishes the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, organizes an annual conference and develops and promotes statements of professional best practice.  

Contact Information

  • Mark Given
    Director, Professional Practice
    Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
    613-234-0012 x 236 or 1-800-463-9729