Karen Howlett Toronto — From Thursday’s Globe and Mail Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009 09:09AM EDT
Suppliers of medical isotopes are dramatically hiking their prices amid a worldwide shortage of a tool used to detect cancer and heart illnesses, resulting in higher costs for cash-strapped hospitals and longer waiting times for patients. The cost of each bone scan performed in Canadian hospitals has soared as much as 50 per cent, to $30, since May, when a major supplier began adding surcharges on medical isotopes.
Costs are set to escalate again when the same supplier, Dublin-based health-care giant Covidien, raises its prices another 40 per cent, effective Aug. 1.