A letter recently sent to Jason Copping, Alberta Minister of Health
Dear Honourable Jason Copping;
As President of the Edmonton Prostate Peer Support Society, it has come to my attention that Alberta Health has curtailed funding to the UAH PSMA-10 7 project This project offers more precise imaging for detection of prostate cancer tumors and more precise delivery of radiation to the tumors. There are at least 60 prostate cancer patients in the queue for PSMA PET scans, which is now the standard of care imaging test in multiple prostate cancer guidelines.
Unfortunately, as a result of funding, AHS has not offered operational approval for this project after recruiting, enrolling and consenting patients had begun for an imaging test that has shown to change treatments today.
The trial will not start until specific funding is provided to Alberta Health Services Diagnostic. Apparently, at the provincial level, Director discussions lean toward organizational structural changes that will extend access to PET scans into the evenings and weekends. Although desirable, organizational changes are not expedient to implement. In the interim AHS Diagnostics Imaging intends to issue direction to referring physicians that PSMA PET scans will not be booked at UAH pending further funding/notice, despite this being against the patient’s best interest.
The delays this will cause to men waiting for these diagnostics will negatively impact their health outcomes. Just as early detection has proven to save health dollars, early treatment with more accurate information will yield the same significant savings.
Minister Copping, my plea to you is to ensure the diagnostics men have been led to believe they were to receive, are delivered on a timely basis. To do otherwise would be an agonizing delay for these patients.
Terry Kirkland