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space, and time set aside to see patients), a lack of admitting privileges, concern regarding turf issues with other specialties, in some cases a division between Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology (in part due to a remuneration disparity between the two subspecialties), a lack of

 The under-utilization of IR in Canada was clearly having a significant impact both on patients directly, and on healthcare costs

funding and support for IR fluoroscopy rooms and medical devices, a lack of awareness of the specialty by referring services, a lack of formal recognition of the specialty by the Canadian accrediting bodies, and inadequate protected research time for innovation. The impediments were found to be

both external (funding, support from hospital) and internal to Radiology (support from Diagnostic Radiology colleagues, lack of manpower).

Compounding the already short supply of Interventional Radiologists was a push to embrace the changing ‘clinical’ paradigm of the field. In one survey, 73% of Interventional Radiologists in Canada stated that the field should become more clinical in Canada; however, reasons cited for failure to do so were a lack of time (44%), a lack of hospital or administration support (40%), and inadequate remuneration (14%).

ACTION AND OUTCOME We were keen to get our results out to the key stakeholders in Canadian healthcare in an attempt to affect change. As a result, with the help of Cook Inc. (Canada), and through the Canadian Interventional Radiology Association, we put together a bound package that included 16 published scientific papers and several news reports, a cover letter, and an index page. This was sent to government and healthcare officials, hospital medical chiefs and CEO’s, the media, and any other stakeholder identified as key. Individual Radiology departments and Interventional Radiologists were encouraged to use

the package to meet with their hospital chiefs and local politicians. Included within the MRG Report were a number of suggestions as to how to increase the use of IR and take advantage of its potential benefits, including those relevant to awareness of IR, staffing issues, operating budgets, fee schedules, and referral patterns. Outcomes were difficult to measure;

however, there have been reports of some various groups receiving additional equipment funding and support. Canada likely still remains at the bottom of the G7 when it comes to the number of Interventional Radiology procedures performed per capita, and we continue to fight for additional support and funding. ■


 MORE INFO: For anyone wishing an electronic version of the package or help with a similar initiative, please email mark.baerlocher@

 REFERENCES References available on request (


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