June 29, 2016
Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
10th Floor, Hepburn Block
80 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2C4
Last week, the only clinic providing PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans in Windsor was forced to close its doors due to the chronic under funding of their aging and increasingly unreliable equipment. Sixty people in our community living with cancer were nearly forced to travel elsewhere in the province had it not been for the generosity of local businessman Al Quesnel. In the aftermath of the event, there is growing uncertainty over what happens next time our regions only PET scanner requires urgent and costly repairs.
Precision Diagnostic Imaging, overseen by medical director Dr. Kevin Tracey, provided PET scans to 500 people last year. The scans helped to detect and precisely locate their cancers, a service healthcare recipients were able to receive in their community with their family caregivers at their side. To fund this vital service, the Ministry of Health provides Precision Diagnostic Imaging with just over $300 000 per year, well under the amount needed to properly maintain the equipment and address emergency repairs.
Over the past two years, Dr. Tracy has pleaded with Ministry officials for more sustainable funding and yet, time and time again, he was told that when it comes to paying for the true cost of providing PET services at his clinic, the cupboard is bare.
Minister, it is not enough to simply ask Dr. Tracey to provide a proposal to address the long-term sustainability of PET services in our region—you must actively come to the table with solutions. Taking a laissez-faire approach to this issue is insufficient and disrespectful to the thousands of healthcare recipients who worry what will happen next time our PET scanner requires repairs.
People living in Windsor and Essex county deserve reliable health care they can count on. Families should not continue to face the threat of traveling hundreds of kilometres to London or paying exorbitant fees in Detroit to receive a PET scan. It is time for you to ensure an equity of access to imaging modalities for people living in Windsor and Essex county and work proactively with healthcare providers in our region on a solution to meet our long-term PET needs.
MPP Windsor West