Top radiologist wants national system after B.C. scandal
The head of Canada's national radiology society is calling for national standards for specialists and regular peer reviews in the wake of a B.C. investigation into thousands of questionable medical scans.
Dr. Edward Lyons, president of the Canadian Association of Radiologists, told CTV News that he was shocked to hear the B.C. government is investigating three radiologists for misreading the results of CT scans and ultrasounds.
"My reaction to missed diagnoses is, and should be, one of anger -- anger on behalf of the profession and anger on behalf of the patients," Lyons said.
Some provinces have peer review processes for radiologists; Saskatchewan and Alberta both review their specialists on a five-year cycle.
But Lyons believes that a nationwide system is needed to better protect patients.
"This is an opportunity for us to really insist on and develop and monitor a good comprehensive peer-review process throughout Canada," he said.
"There has been a pretty lax attitude in continuing medical education and that is now changing."
The B.C. investigation involves scans performed by former Powell River radiologist Dr. Mansukhlal Mavji Parmar and Dr. Jose Zanbilowicz of Comox, as well as a third radiologist in the Fraser Valley.
The doctors have been accused of missing cancer diagnoses in a handful of patients, and one man is believed to have died of cancer mere months after Parmar gave him a clean bill of health.
Lyons says that with a national peer-review system, similar cases are likely to pop up across the country.
"British Columbia almost certainly will not be an individual standalone incident," he said.
"If you were to do a comprehensive peer-review process, what else would you turn up in other provinces?"
With files from CTV British Columbia's Mi-Jung Lee