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Entirely predictable

Could anyone have predicted this would happen? I think it’s a no-brainer that suppliers decided to hike isotope charges because of the Chalk River nuclear plant’s downtime and the resulting lack of medical isotopes; not to mention the complete lack of response or preparedness on this file by the Harper government:

Big isotope bills are starting to pile up at medical clinics. Doctors opened their mail last week and found bills up to $30,000 higher than usual from suppliers who have come to collect after hiking their prices in the spring. The higher costs came around the same time Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. shut down its aging reactor at Chalk River, Ont., sparking a worldwide medical isotope shortage. Those extra costs are just now appearing on bills. Surcharges have added $5,000 to $30,000 to clinics’ monthly isotope invoices, said Dr. Christopher O’Brien, head of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine.

Oh, and by the way, Harper’s Ottawa shrugs its shoulders at the hospitals difficulty, and basically says, “tough luck, thats capitalism for you”:

The added costs along the isotope supply chain have forced hospitals to go into debt or cut from other departments to pay for the procedures..hospitals are going cap in hand to Ottawa and the provinces, O’Brien said. “We’re hoping to hear from either the provincial governments or the federal government that there will be funding to cover these increased costs through a bridging fund,” he said. Health Canada says it has no plans to cover the extra costs. “The government of Canada does not regulate the price of medical isotopes which is determined by private companies contracted to the provinces,” spokeswoman Christelle Legault said in an email.

Ottawa’s lack of any plan with Chalk River and isotope production helped cause this.. and now they refuse to do anything while isotope producers bilk hospitals for what supply there is.

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3 comments to Entirely predictable

  • kwittet

    Greg..your point is just as valid as Lorraine. Saying it has been on going for 20 years is a valid point just as much as saying so we are just as bad. To lay the blame totally on one party is wrong. this problem has been ongoing for years. THE BLAME GAME does NOTHING to SOLVE it.
    Is Harper doing enough to rectify this? That is a tough question. Given the recession is there money to be tossed at this in sufficient numbers to solve the problem? I know lack of $$$ when peoples lives are on the line is a poor excuse but considering the massive deficits we are running to just try to keep the economy afloat do we need to add more billions to it and it is still going to take many years to fix?
    So my suggestion is to stop pointing fingers at the one party who was just unfortunate enough to have this thing fall apart on their shift and have some constructive dialogue on real solutions to get this thing back up and running.

  • Greg

    Entirely predictable during the Liberal government’s 13 years indeed. So, let’s not place all the blame on the current government which inherited the problem.

    So, your defense is “We are just as bad as the Liberals”? Now, that’s predictable.

  • Lorraine

    Was this not all entirely predictable for about 20 years as the Chalk River plant was deteriorating and the millions and millions sunkinto the inoperable Maple reactors were simply thrown away as unworkable?
    And, what about the rest of the world? None wanted to step up to produce isotopes in spite of the fact Canada’a plant is archaic and falling apart?

    Entirely predictable during the Liberal government’s 13 years indeed. So, let’s not place all the blame on the current government which inherited the problem.

    If there are no practical solutions what good does just pointing fingers do? Armchair quarterbacks who have no winning plays except passing blame.

    Now, that’s predictable.

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