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Friday, May 30, 2014

Canada for sale..... next Medicare????

Most Canadians don't realize it, but this country has been an international leader, the world's largest single supplier of medical isotopes used in nuclear imaging, for more than 50 years.
But all of that is about to end. Buried deep in the federal budget bill, now winding its way toward approval, is something called the Nordion and Theratronics Divestiture Authorization Act.
In a few short sentences that amendment removes all foreign ownership restrictions on Canada's medica...l isotope processor, Nordion, paving the way for the former Crown corporation to be sold to a U.S. firm.

 The buyer, Sterigenics, is ready and waiting with an offer on the table. Shareholders will vote on May 27.

The made-in-Canada isotope shortage facing medical scans

Albert Mann winced as he sat upright on the scanner bed to talk to me. A large camera had just processed an image of his body, reading the gamma rays radiating from his bones.

I asked him what he had to do to prepare for this test. "What did I have to do? Get cancer," he said.

Down the hall, seven other camera rooms were buzzing with patients having similar scans. At this hospital in Brampton, Ont., the machines run six days a week.

Across Canada, about 20,000 patients undergo nuclear imaging procedures every week and the field of nuclear medicine is growing around the world.

But almost all of it rests on an increasingly fragile supply of radioactive isotopes, a short-lived medical product made mostly by small research reactors, and a looming shortage has specialists worried.

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