Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Canadian Medical Association to pressure government on isotopes

Update (4:15 p.m.): The firm resolutions, whose wording is suggested below, passed. Text here.

Something to be watching today, resolutions being voted upon at the ongoing meeting of the Canadian Medical Association addressing the isotope crisis:
The motions doctors will vote on Wednesday include a proposal that the CMA "demands" the federal government retain Canada's leadership and ability to produce isotopes, reconsiders its withdrawal from producing them, "immediately" appoints an international expert panel to review the decision to abandon Chalk River's Maple I and II reactors, and to release the panel's conclusions and recommendations publicly.
Other resolutions at the CMA meeting call for the federal government to consult with nuclear medicine physicians and their associations on all decisions affecting the supply of medical isotopes, to ramp up the use of positron emission technology (a three-dimensional imaging technique that uses radiopharmaceuticals), and to "invest heavily" in researching alternatives to isotope technetium-99, the isotope currently in short supply.
In other words, that first set of resolutions asks the Harper government to completely reverse itself on all the major decisions made on this file during their tenure.

Sounds like the doctors feel strongly about what they're seeing out there and what they need in order to do their jobs. Maybe the government might want to consider listening to them.

For more on this topic, see: Blog Post Index: Medical Isotope crisis & Chalk River shutdown.