The Northern Health Authority says a radiologist at Mills Memorial Hospital is on what it describes as “voluntary leave” after discrepancies were found in CT scans, ultrasound scans and general x-ray images.
“The scans were read by one radiologist, between October 2016 and January 2017,” indicated the health authority in a statement released on Feb. 24.
“A group of radiologists at Vancouver General Hospital is assisting with the reading of more than 8,400 images (from 5,278 patients),” the release continued in referring to the situation as responding to “quality concerns.”
“This process is expected to be complete by the end of March. As results become available, physicians and patients will be notified.”
The authority added that the extensive scan review now underway “does not mean all of the original readings are inaccurate or incomplete, or that a discrepancy will result in negative clinical concern or adverse health impacts to the individuals affected.”
“These tests are used to support a physician diagnosis, and are not the only factor considered,” the email added.
In a subsequent email, health authority official Eryn Collins said equipment used for scanning x-rays was not malfunctioning.
“It’s a matter of interpretation of exams,” she said.
“A concern with the reading of a scan was reported by another radiologist.”
The decision to review scans taken as of Oct. 2016 to Jan. 2017 was taken because that’s the period of time during which the radiologist now on leave was working at Mills.
There are typically two radiologists at Mills Memorial.
For patients who have further questions or concerns, Northern Health has asked them to contact their physician and to send general questions to NWradiology@northernhealth.ca