In 2010, an estimated 1,750,000 clinical PET studies were performed in the USA on a total of about 2,100 PET scanners. While the distribution of these scanners is not uniform in the US, there is about 1 PET scanner for 150,000 residents. In Western Europe, where the density of PET scanners is lower (about 1 scanner for 500,000 residents), about one million PET studies were done during the same period.
With about 30 PET scanners, 33 million residents and about 40,000 studies only performed across the country, the English part of Canada has won the Oscar for the most under-served country in medical imaging in the Western world when it comes to manage their cancer patients.
Today's report illustrates perfectly the deplorable Canadian situation. It also establishes clearly a major disparity in accessibility of PET services across the provinces and territories with Quebec residents only benefitting from a visionary, healthy and appropriate distribution of PET resources and services across the province. Canadian cancer disease has no such geographical boundary.
It is the hope of the many Canadian patients affected by cancer and of the Canadian medical community that this outstanding report will encourage and incite the federal and provincial health authorities across Canada to revisit their policies towards PET and to make this much needed technology available to all Canadians in an equitable manner.
-- Dr. Jean-Luc Urbain, former president, Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine